It is the eve of your 11th birthday as I write this. Before you went to bed, I told you the story that eventually made in on my F*cebook status tonight:
On this night eleven years ago, I was sitting at the small table in Meemie's apartment.We were playing some game - must have been Mexican train or what was the card game she liked?? - when the phone rang. It was the long-awaited announcement that Isabel was beginning to make her way into the world (though she wouldn't appear until 24+ hours later!) I can still picture that moment so clearly in my mind. So grateful, so humbled, to be chosen to parent this precious, precocious girl.
You have been very excited for your special day to arrive. As usual, gifts are not high on your priority list but experiences are. Chocolate chip oatmeal bake was requested for your birthday breakfast, with imported American box mix cake (preferably strawberry, but second-choice lemon was acceptable) for your birthday cake. Ideas tossed around for your birthday included an overnight stay at a hotel for just the girls (Mommy, Eva and you) or a movie night with your sister and a friend. I suggested a pedicure/manicure which normally you might have loved, but you wisely reminded me that nail polish is not an acceptable uniform adornment in Chilean schools! :)
No matter what, I know the experience will be fun and memorable because you will be a part of it. Oh, what energy you bring to our family life! Sometimes it's gales of laughter and other times buckets of tears, but you don't do emotions halfway.
Something I am really enjoying with you these days is a growing shared loved of reading. You are the first of my children to actually want to pick up a book and read for fun, just as I have always loved to do. And not only any book, but you are delving into the Nancy Drew series that held so many hours of imagination and mystery for me at your age. It may sound silly, but it makes me smile to see your nose stuck in a book!
Isabel, Daddy and I feel so privileged to be your parents. We're far from perfect (as you've figured out by now.) But we love you very much (as I hope you've figured out, too!) Your Heavenly Father is both perfect and loving, and He has amazing things in store for you. Treasure time with Him each day, and learn to listen to His voice. We can't wait to see where He is going to lead you as you trust Him.
Happy 11th Birthday, Isabel Hope!