I took Gracie, Bridget, Maddie, and Maddie's friend Claudia to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program for a tour today, where Gracie is a benefactor. She asked her friends not to buy her birthday gifts at her party in December and instead donate a small amount to the RMRP. She faithfully keeps up to date on news from the program via The Owl's Perch, and spends at least 30% of any given day in active thought about owls. I have a lot more to say about this place (and quite frankly, 101 other things that have been going on around here) but for now, this:
Gracie sparkled today. With focus that startled me, with her knowledge of owls that might have startled the wonderful tour guide, with the great horned owl she was lucky to spend a little time with. She was in her element, and it was a glimpse into her future that I've never fully seen before. It's hard to know if the dreams she has now as an 8 year old will weather the test of time some 15 years down the line, but today it didn't matter: today she was an 8 year old with philanthropist credentials, being treated like the legitimate owl scientist she has worked so hard to become.
It was awesome.