Rose on her 11th Birthday.
But I will write a bit about Rose and her Birthday because I feel like doing it. I'll just write a bit. I promise. I'll even talk about bicycling (!) and I'll stick to the facts, mostly, so I don't get all weepy. Though I am prone to crying so we'll see how this goes...
Rose (in dark green, front and center) and her friends with their paintings
Rose had six friends over on Friday evening for a Painting Party led by artist Carla Thomspon at the Northfield Arts Guild. They painted and laughed and had fun. Each girl painted a scene on a block of wood - and every one was a beautiful piece of art! Rose's had a red bird with the word "Sing" below it. I joined in on the fun and painted a block, too, and gave it to Rose as a surprise gift. Mine was of a yellow bird and the words below it were "Little Bird." Rose hung the two on her wall side by side so together they say, "Sing Little Bird."
My painting and Rose's. Imagine them hanging next to each other.
On her wall Rose's is on the left and mine on the right so they, together, say "Sing Little Bird"
After painting we all walked to a pizza place for dinner and then drove back to our house for a sleepover. The girls didn't sleep much. They ate a lot of food, giggled, listened to music and ran around the yard half the night. I guess that's what you do at sleepovers - have fun! Other than reminding them to go to turn off the lights at 12:30 the girls pretty much took care of themselves and I realized during the party that Rose doesn't need me as much as she used to. Realizing this, though I was proud to see how much she's grown, also made me kind of sad. What happened to the little girl who needed me so much? Who used to be scared to venture out on her own?
We rested a lot on Saturday after the girls went home. We all needed it. On Sunday, the day of her actual birthday, Rose wanted to bike the Cannon Valley Trail and get ice cream in Welch. So we loaded the bikes and headed for the Trail. I think we were all tired from the lack-of-sleep-sleepover so the ride felt a little slow for all of us. Rose even ended up with a nosebleed on the trip and got blood on her new bicycling jersey - this made her kind of sad - but all in all it was a great family ride and we rode 22 miles!
Rose, Owen and Ryan on the Cannon Valley Trail
Rose set the pace for most of the ride. She said she was a sprinter in the Tour de France. Ryan, riding the Trail-A-Bike behind Owen's hybrid, said he was drafting in the Tour and acted all grown up for most of the ride. But when I rode up next to him he reached out his hand and ask me to hold it while we biked along. He did this several times on our ride and said that we had a secret since Owen and Rose were ahead of us and no one else could see us holding hands.
Ryan still needs me, I guess. And I suppose Rose does, too. After all, I helped her with her nosebleed, handed her tissues, held her nose until the bleeding stopped. I helped her climb a hill so she could see the secret field along the trail, a field that she found on our first long family ride. And I help her with other things every day. But after I help her she heads off, often acting like she doesn't need me at all.
Rose. On her bike. Setting the pace. On the Cannon Valley Trail.
There are so many questions I have about parenting - especially about parenting my daughter who is so much like me. How do I help Rose be strong and independent as she enters middle school? And then what about high school? How much should I push her? How much should I let her find their own way? What can I do to help Rose as she grows up and heads out into the world and life on her own?
I don't know the answers. I'm probably going to screw things up time and time again.
But here's something I do know - no matter how old she is or how much she acts like she does or does not need me - Rose is still my little Rosie. She'll always be my little girl.
Happy Birthday my Little Rosie. Happy Birthday my little girl.