My Oldest's 11th Birthday

Suddenly the little six-year-old pictured above is turning eleven, still a princess, but no longer dressing up as one. And she's well on her way to being a queen. She writes, she plays soccer, she accepts compliments, she cooks, she bakes me cheese bread, she throws her elbows around when people are in her way, she looks after the baby, she stays up too late reading fantasy novels. She's my kind of girl. Happy birthday, Renata Ecclesia.

This girl loves a good hamburger. I mean, she attacks 'em.

This girl always has her nose in book.

This girl thinks mustaches are fun. And unlike other girls, her dad's mustache actually looks like that.

This girl looks after the babies. And when I say she looks after babies, that's what I mean. She brings baby Mara down every morning. If we sleep in, she and l'il Joffre have breakfast a-cookin'. She changes diapers, comforts, entertains, carries, cuddles.

This girl's writing a novel. We'll see how it turns out. She's already written way more than I did when I tried writing my childhood novel. She sows, she knits, she draws, she makes jewelry. The headband she wore to her sculpture session was of her own making. Which is not a big deal. It's just what she does.

This girl uses her creativity to be independent. She wanted a sleeping mask, which her parents aren't going to buy for her. Obviously. So she made one herself.

Did I mention that this girl loves a burger? Note the  signature attacking style. She does 'em right, too, with plenty of veg.

This girl will try anything once. Which is fun, because we can explore together. And I can trust her to tell me when she doesn't love something. Which means we can keep exploring.

Like I said, this girl will try anything. She'd never cut hair before, but man, I look good.

This girl looks people straight in the eye. And she's great to have a conversation with. Did you know that the Pellinor series has a very Celtic flavor? Neither did I.

This girl loves her brother Joffre. As recently as a couple of years ago, they were still walking hand-in-hand. They're too big for that now, I guess, but they still stand next to each other like personal space isn't a thing.

This girl is a joyful kid.

This girl is my delight every morning. Little smile, toothy grin, bouncing brown ponytail, confident carriage, grace toward others.

Oh, undeserved sweetness and light, stay by my side.


  1. Lovely! I wish my father would write stuff like that about me. Tell you what, you guys can adopt me before my next birthday.


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