The trials of middle school. You still love Legos, but you want to get your ears pierced. Sophie has grown physically and emotionally this year, and I find myself hoping to hold on to her just a little longer. We still have such a good time together--she has inherited our family's quirky sense of humor and our love of food and travel. She has yet to turn to me and scream, "I hate you." Maddy never did that either so I am twice lucky. She experienced the loss of her first pet and her dad's absence for the Army as she began her life as a 7th grader. She is running cross-country this year, mostly at my insistence, and because they do not have a rock climbing team at her school (her sport of choice). We are giving away her Littlest Pet Shop toys, and she has developed an interest in jewelry. She would wear basketball shorts and t-shirts to school everyday if I let her. She can still consume prodigious amounts of sugar and not gain an ounce. She is who she is, and I am beginning to see who she will become. And I like what I see.