Quinn, you are the only kid left that I write letters to publicly. Your siblings have “real” lives now and our connection through these letters feels too intimate for blogging. As it is, Luke still hasn’t forgiven me for things I published about him when he was eleven, so I will try to keep this as mild as possible. You really do reap the rewards of being the baby in more ways than you know and Luke, if you are reading this, I am sorry a million times over (first pancake out of the pan, kid … takes practice).
I am writing this on the eve of your big day. I asked what you wanted and you said Mcdonalds, so I appreciate your limited palette and cheap taste. Despite the stress and pitfalls and chaos of this past Covid year, you have remained steady, healthy, and curious. You have started to teach yourself to read music and play the keyboard. When I asked if you wanted lessons you said, “What for?” You went on to explain that there are so many ways to learn besides “lessons.” So you sit, in what was my meditation room and then a temporary summer bedroom for Lizzie, and now an empty room with makeup stains on the floor, and with your headphones on, and teach yourself.
You are already off to a much better school year than last year. You love to design on Tinkercad. You are actually even loving science because you get to research and design and sculpt and animate your own hybrid creature. You are reading more, investigating more (and here is where I will hold back from sharing our after school discussion about puberty today… though for anyone curious, there was a ladder and a subway that made their way into that hilarious exchange). Last night you jumped out of bed to do an assignment you had forgotten about, which included creating a gif. So in addition to teaching yourself, you are teaching me new things.
You remain pretty impressive with your ability to read energy, to offer reiki, something I really hope you don’t outgrow. You have a fantastic giggle and for some reason, each time you think about how I told you that my grandma used to make us liver dumplings, you laugh. You are still not fond of fruit or vegetables, lotions or toothpastes, and you still eat the same chicken burrito for lunch, along with some black olives, every single day.
I started teaching again this week and have been thinking a lot about a Tik Tok I watched in which a psychologist said, “As children your job is to abandon your parents a little bit at a time, and Parents, your job is to let them.” For some reason this year I am feeling that extra hard. Luke, Elizabeth, and Will are fully immersed in their own lives and you and I are still here, but again, you are the baby, so you teach yourself piano and eat pepperoni and a dill pickle for dinner in your bed. I am not chasing anyone to lessons, watching any theater shows, taking anyone to practices … no more long weekends of volleyball in other states (amen to that). It’s just us and it’s quiet. You tell me jokes that are actually pretty funny, but otherwise you are content to be by yourself. There is peace and ease about you that has lingered ever since you made it out of the incubator and decided to stay.
I love everything about you.
Eleven is an angel number. May all of your many angels be with you this year and always. I know you feel them.