Miguel and Mariana

Miguel, you are 5’6″ (and a teenager!), and you  love to lord it over me how you are so much taller than me.    You’re happy to be done with soccer, and are really excited about Boy Scouts this year.  You had a campout this weekend where they left you in the woods a tarp and fire-building supplies and a few other things, and you had to survive overnight.  You were very proud. You seem really happy at school, which is great.  You have just read the Pushcart War, and Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, and you are getting started on Sherlock Holmes.   We had a discussion of high school, and to you it feels unimaginably distant, whereas to me, it feels right around the corner.    Presumably this is because two years is so much greater percentage of your lifetime than mine.  I love watching with your siblings because you take such thoughtful care of them and are so gentle.  You watch out for things that aren’t safe for Raisa, and once you made a big point of challenging me because I let her play with something that I thought was safe and you disagreed.  I don’t even remember what is as now, but I was so touched that you cared that much. I also feel like you and I have had more real conversations in the past few months than before, and I’m grateful for that.

Miguel, I am so proud of the amount of work that you put into your big project of studying Algebra independently this summer — that was so much to bite off and manage, and you did so well.  I hope that was a huge boost to your confidence.  I’m also impressed

Mariana, you have been transitioning more smoothly than I could have imagined to your new school at Orchard. You were volleyball team captain and have so many friends.   You did once express doubt about where you fit in, and I get the sense that you are still in looking to form a few deeper, more-meaningful friendships.   That is something you have been wanting for a long time, and I do hope that you make some deep, lasting friendships.

Our evening routine these days is that you read two chapters of Nancy Drew out loud to me, which I love.  You read so fluidly and with expression, and listening to you read fills me with joy.  It’s one of the highlights of my day.   After that, sometimes we talk or we  watch an episode of Flip or Flop, and then we listen to I Capture the Castle on Audible as we drift off to sleep.   We’re almost finished with that book, though, so we’re going to have to find another one.

Mariana, you have been really into your re-organizing the house and planning the layout you would like to see.  You organized our kitchen drawers, and got out the tape measure, and drew up plans for how you wanted the living room/green room to look.   You also researched and priced furniture on Amazon that would fit your layout, and I am so impressed by how completely you tackle projects, and go after what you want. Your career ambition has switched from being a figure skater or rock star or professional volleyball player to being a designer. I was so proud of you, because you had become a little more realistic, but then you said you wanted to be a TV designer. So I guess we have a ways to go.

I’m so proud of you both.

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