The Queen of Eight

July 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm 4 comments

Such a goofballI took a picture of you near the start of this past school year. In that picture you are smiling and standing a bit awkwardly, not sure what to do with yourself while you waited among your friends. I gave you a hug and a kiss, and you clung to me just a few seconds longer before heading into class.

Fast forward one school year later. I took another photograph. In this one you are by yourself, calmly leaning against a light post and looking second grade sophisticated. You patiently put up with my goodbye hug and “have the best day” kiss on the top of your head. You are unconcerned about the chaos of other kids. You are simply waiting for school to start so you can get to work.
Seriously, look at that girl...

What happened in between those two pictures? Second grade.

Second grade was a school year of great development for you. Your teacher was so impressed with your work ethic he gave you a special role in class as his helper. In that role you learned the value of hard work, how to focus on the task at hand, and how to be a leader. You developed a strong voice to communicate your thoughts with confidence. His comment in your report card said it all:

“Norah is an absolute pleasure to have in class. She is a leader who has a mind of her own, but can still work within the structured environment of our classroom. She has my total trust as a member of our class and as a learner.”
Best actress
That confidence led you to audition and perform in your first school play. For five nights you practiced your lines and we sang your songs together. During the first day of rehearsal your voice was quiet and unsteady and you had no script. But then you wrote down every word you could remember and when it came time to perform in front of the crowd, you stood tall and belted out your lines in that tiny middle school auditorium. You were the best villager in Treasure Island.

I say it was your first school play because when the final performance was over and we were driving away from the school you asked me when you could audition for the next one.

Then something unexpected happened. When we got home you pulled me into your bedroom to speak privately. You thanked me for letting you audition and be a part of the event. You showed me genuine gratitude by telling me how much it meant to you to be given the opportunity to do something so wonderful. It was an amazing display of grace and confidence that would have brought me to tears had your stinky brother not suddenly pounded on the door, demanding to know what was going on. No matter. I will remember that moment forever.

LoveSpeaking of your brother, your relationship with him continues to be a joy to witness. You push his buttons and he pushes yours and together you push mine until the house is suddenly very quiet because I cannot take it anymore. Often your dust-ups have resulted in time-outs that last a little longer than before. I have learned that it’s not the having to sit in a chair during the time-outs that bothers you, it’s the separation from your favorite playmate. After you have endured the agony of apologizing and are free children again, you immediately race off together to your next adventure, the conflict forgotten.

Even though he irritates you so, you have to admit you would be lost without him. When he starts school this year he will do very well in large part because of your help and guidance. I know that because he told me so. That’s how much he loves you in return.

Beach Warrior
Swim lessons were a big part of your year and like virtually everything you do, you put forth your best effort to become one of the best swimmers in your young class. I will have you continue with swim lessons because you continue to be a lover of nature and like to get yourself in the dirt and open water. You climb trees, pick flowers, collect snails, and help me with the vegetable garden. You decorate your bedroom with fresh flowers that eventually become dried flowers. Many of the creatures you capture in our urban wilderness end up in our house and I find them long after they have expired.

At eight years old you are in full-on girl mode. You have spent this past year filling your days with tea parties, family card games, comic books, TV shows, sleepovers, school events, and a whole lot of ice cream. The temporary tattoos from our earlier times have been replaced with nail polish, lip gloss, and clip-on earrings. The concept of boys and girls having crushes has entered your mind as you watch so many of those Disney Kids shows. I’m not ready for that so I won’t speak anymore about it. As far as I am concerned, I still have my Little Boo who loves to sit in my lap and have me brush and braid her hair.
Little Husky
You have become a stronger girl during this past year and our relationship has grown stronger as well. We have built a foundation of traditions that continue to keep us connected. We still ride in the truck to Dads and Daughters events, and share octopus sushi dinners. We play cards at the end of our day. We make art with crayons during meals at restaurants. We snuggle together on the inflatable mattress during our slumber party nights and you hold my hand until well after you fall asleep. Though it’s getting harder for me to do, you still love it when I pick you up and carry you anywhere or just hold you.

With your family by your side, you have made the most of your eighth year in this world. I am so proud of everything you do and everything you have become. So, in return I want to say thank you for being an incredible source of love, support, and inspiration. Seeing you take ownership of your life makes me want to continue being the best father I can be because that’s what you deserve.

Today we celebrate you, my sweet, beautiful, confident daughter. Happy Birthday to you my darling Doodles, my Norah Grace.
Beautiful girl

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nadene Good  |  July 1, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your well rounded 8 year old daughter.
    Think I’ll go call my younger brother. Nadene

    Reply
  • […] There is royalty in the air for Hop Dad in “The Queen of Eight.” […]

    Reply
  • 3. Dee Good  |  July 14, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Love seeing your daughter thru your eyes. What an amazing relationship you are building with her and it is such a joy to watch her grow. Now…..we want to see the real Norah Grace in person. Our next family reunion will be next July …..I’ll keep reminding you Scott.

    Reply
    • 4. Hop Dad  |  July 14, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you, Dee!

      Reply

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