It’s time for Five Minute Friday once again where a remarkably encouraging and loving community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt: DIVE.

Sici's11

This girl does nothing half way.

Instead, she throws arms into the air above her, lays one hand across the other, tucks her head and goes for it.

She is so much of what I wish I could have always been, and tomorrow she turns eleven.

Eleven years ago, I found a strength I did not know I held within me. That strength birthed (and was) a beautiful girl, and since January 12, 2002, solid steady has not only grown in me, but at my side in that big brown eyed, wide-smiled girl who sidles up close, feels life deep, wears bright colors and mismatched socks with confidence and asks the best questions I’ve ever heard.

About a month and a half ago, we shopped for a shirt that Sici would wear for a special day, and we found it without much difficulty. Green like a mermaid’s tail with ruffled trim and sparkle, it surprised me because it seemed more traditionally girly than anything I thought she’d like.

But then she put it on and tilted her head and smiled in an unmistakably approving way into the changing room mirror, and I could see she felt beautiful, and it made my heart soar.

A few weeks earlier Sici had been elected mayor by teachers and students from a group of a dozen or so kids at her school who gave heartfelt speeches about what they had to offer and answered questions from a podium about how they would handle grievances, difficulties, problems.

And so when she ran the town for a day, she did it with confidence and spunk and an eye to how she could help. She walked from business to business in the building with spaces that look like a real bank, cafe, store.

Here in the place where fourth and fifth graders learn about business and personal finance and do real jobs (bank teller, director of the humane society, utility worker) Sici talked to fellow students and adult volunteers, took the census and encouraged citizens to vote.

She gave two speeches in front of City Hall. She improvised and never blushed.

The night before she would be Madame Mayor, I asked how nervous she felt on a scale from 0 to 10, 0 being “I’m not nervous at all” and 10, “I’ve never been more nervous in my life.”

I was at about an 8.

“3,” she said.

The next morning, I asked how she felt about the day ahead.

“Confident, but humble,” she answered with a nod.

And this is how I want to live. Knowing exactly who I am. Not thinking more highly or lowly of myself than I ought.

Diving in with just right amounts strength and sparkle.

OK, I don’t want to have to stop calling this my Five Minute Friday, but what parent out there can write about their child for just five minutes?

Happy 11th Birthday, my shining girl. You make this mama’s heart soar above a thousand skies.

Five Minute Friday

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