I’ve heard people say that you’re quiet, that you’re shy. They might sometimes say that they are often left to wonder what you think, what you really have on your mind. But if they took the time to notice, the time to really know you, they would hear you speak volumes, with your actions more than with your words.
It takes time and effort and patience and presence (and maybe a little mind reading) to truly appreciate your strength, your fortitude, your commitment, your determination and strong-mindedness, and your remarkable steadiness during a very turbulent stage of life.
I see a young woman who is self-motivated, highly organized, hard working; a never-give-up, fight to the finish student. The A’s in top level classes do not come easy, even for someone as smart as you. You have to work at it every day. I admire your determination and your ability to balance so many demands and I am amazed at what you accomplish day after day after day.
The Elegy is your favorite cello piece to play. The Swan is mine (yes, I now recognize the difference). If I start to hum it (either one) you won’t play it (either one) until you can transport yourself back into the mood that the music requires. You are inside the music then, and the cello begins to tell a story, the cello develops feelings, and the cello nearly becomes a living thing. If I could freeze time, that is one of the moments I would choose.
We’re riding in the car, probably to CVS, maybe the grocery store, or dance, or just heading home after a long day at school and orchestra. You are quiet, maybe a little tired, I think, probably thinking about something. This is your time to be still. You need that time. I reach over and hold out my hand. You take it and I close my hand around yours. That’s all. You need that too.
You love to listen to music and you love nothing more than to find an artist you think I’ll like (and yes, many times you have). Of course, I’m the same way, which leads to many impassioned discussions about who should get credit for introducing a new artist to the other (it doesn’t help matters that my memory isn’t what is used to be). Sometimes I open my i-Tunes folder and discover that you have quietly added a number of songs that you think I’ll like. That’s so sweet. I appreciate that.
A chinchilla is a skittish, jumpy little animal, quick to startle and slow to trust. But you are completely in tune with that soft and cuddly little creature and slowly and steadily you have convinced Tula to trust you. Now she feels comfortable enough to snuggle against your chest. Not many people could accomplish that. Tula absolutely loves you and that is no small feat.
Here are a few additional things that hardly anyone knows about you.
You have a lot of very beautiful clothes. You used your own money to buy some of those clothes. But what you really want to do is search through everyone else’s closets and drawers (including your older brothers) to come up with something really good to wear. “Look, Ben left his blue waffle shirt.”
If your pile of clean and folded clothes is slightly out of balance on the bench I know you fished through it to find the one item you needed to complete your outfit. . . instead of taking the clothes to your room and putting them in the drawers.
Birds give you the creeps (and you can’t help saying that every time you see them lined up on the wires or swooping around in a flock), but snakes really make your skin crawl.
You can read minds and predict behavior. It’s an extraordinary skill that you may continue to cultivate, but be careful, it can also be a burden.
Rachie, when you barely scratch the surface of your talents and your determination you do very well. When you really work at it you simply amaze. Your actions, not your words, speak volumes.
So, Rache. . . right?
Happy birthday. I am so proud of you and I so much enjoy and love who you are.