Our kitchen yesterday morning.

Bear: Do you know what tomorrow is?

me: (pause) Saturday. (pause, pause) Your basketball tournament.

Bear: It’s my birthday! Mom!! You forgot my birthday!!!

We practice a finely honed sense of humor around here. I consider it a life skill, and if I have anything to say about it these children will head out into the world with a song in their heart and a bit of snark on their tongue. They’ll be the better for it. And maybe someone will buy their beer in college because funny makes friends.

See? Life skills. But back to the topic at hand.

Our girl is twelve today. We’ve got one year left before we have a household of teenagers – and no, I can’t believe I just wrote that, excuse me while I stick my head right back in this warm sand on Denial Beach. I’m thinking about selling memberships in case you’d like to join me. We can tan our rear ends and come up for fruity drinks once in a while.

I look in Bear’s eyes and I’m blown away. She has a huge heart, and that love spills over everyone around her. She lights up a room with her beautiful smile and fan-freaking-tastic personality, and our lives are richer for this time together.

We love you, Bear. But maybe you could slow down on the growing up thing a little? Just a wee bit? Yeah, I didn’t think so.