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My daughter was born with an old soul. She is more mature than her six years allow and generally conducts herself in a manner above reproach. She notices the smallest details while keeping the big picture in mind. She plans ahead; laying out her clothes the night before she wears them, making sure her bookbag is packed and ready for library day, spotting and collecting items for future projects of her own design. She is a quiet, but undeniable presence in our house. A smile from Nora is a true gift.

She also has a mile-wide stubborn streak. Once she has made up her mind, there is no moving her. And Lord, I have tried. Her dissents are typically measured and yet, forceful. To wit: the other day, we disagreed on a point. I wanted all the kids to go outside and play. She lobbied to stay inside. I gave her a choice: Go outside for a while and then play video games or stay inside and find something else to do while the other kids played video games. She firmly informed me that these options were unacceptable and stalked off to her room. She did not slam the door.

Hours later, after the cycle of diplomatic entreaties, acknowledgements and apologies was long completed, my husband came home. “Did you see Nora’s note?” he asked me, laughing.

“What note?”

“Oh!” said Nora, looking up from her snack. “It’s kind of funny, now.” She seemed a little sheepish.

I went upstairs. This is the note she wrote to me:

She’s a pistol; there’s no denying it.

I am reluctant to ring in the new year. For when I do, I will be that much closer to someone’s teen years.

Here’s to 2011, anyway!




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