To Ruby on Her Eleven-and-a-halfth Birthday

Dear Ruby,

Today you are eleven and a half. You may have noticed that this letter is technically arriving half a year late. And yes, it’s true. In the past I have written to you on your birthday point zero, and I have used this space to do it. But now I don’t write here so much anymore. I write other places, and I have more jobs and less time. So this space has gone away somewhat. But flipping through your old letters with you the other day, I realized how sad it would be to just stop writing to you. So here I am, half a year late, to say “You’re halfway to 23! Hooray!”

Normally when I write these things you are getting ready to wrap up a school year, but you did that a while ago. Not just a school year, but an entire school! You are done with elementary school! Like, months ago now. Now you are a sixth grader. You are turning into an adult (slowly). You are almost as tall as your mother! It’s crazy! Last weekend you went out to ArtHop with your friends and wandered around for hours with little adult supervision. What?! (You know which kind of what that was)

So you are doing bigger kid things, and we are going to start entering into a time in which you and me and your mother are going to have to figure out new systems, and new ways to relate to each other sometimes. We will always be your parents, obviously, and we will always love you, but it will be different. Hopefully in a good way! Like we can watch things with you we couldn’t before, and we can talk about things that we couldn’t before. A lot of that is pretty great. But I know it will be a transition, and not always comfortable. Because you are still a kid, and we are still your parents. But for now, honestly, I’m loving it.

I love to play games with you, and to read more advanced stories with you, and to watch new shows and movies with you. It’s so fun to have you entering this new phase of life. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Probably we’ll both make some mistakes. But if you come out of the next few years knowing how to do laundry, and use silverware, and remember where you left things, well, we’ll have done a pretty good job as parents.

I hope you have a good other half of being eleven. I predict you will be awesome at school, that Bear will do something silly and mischievous, and that we will have a bunch more cool adventures together. We’re on one right now, and I really hope they never end.

I love you.

Love, Dad

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