Dear Baby Girl,
I can't believe we just celebrated your fifth birthday. Five years! Five is a little bit of a hard birthday for Mommy. Partly because it just sounds so big (one whole hand) and mostly because five means the start of school. I'm particularly having a hard time with you since we are buying your school supplies while your Birthday Girl balloon is still floating in our kitchen. My mind (and heart) need some time to adjust to the idea of you being such a big girl before I send you off!
I am excited for new adventures and growth, for both of us, but I have loved the last five years of having you home with me (thankfully kindergarten is just half day). I find myself trying to slow down time, grasping for just a couple more days with you at this precious age. I had an older friend, whose children are all grown, tell me once that she wished she could go back in time and spend one full day with each of her children at ages four or five and just enjoy them and listen to them. Spending time with you, I know why she would say that. I love listening to you tell stories and getting glimpses into how you view the world.
You are our beautiful, strong willed little girl who came into this world with strong opinions about what you want and your own timetable of when you do things. I still remember naively thinking that the same sleep training technique that worked with Little Man would work with you. I was wrong, the book was wrong, and you won. You slept through the night when you wanted to, not when I wanted you to or when any book said you should. Daddy and I are learning that a big part of being your parents is being cheerleaders. We stand on the sidelines patiently encouraging our brains out (often while you resist us) waiting for you to decide that you can ride a bike, scooter, do a flip on the rings outside, or that you do like pre-school or swim lessons. But when you decide you can do something, the world better watch out. Once you get that determined set of you little jaw and that look in your eyes, once you decide it's something you want to do, you will do it. You will pedal up the whole hill on your bike waving away offers of help, beg me to take off your life jacket during open swim time to practice swimming without it, and practice hours on the swing set until you can do a flip.
Sandwiched between two relatively easy going big brothers, your strong bursts of emotion and stubbornness sometimes surprise us still. You laugh hard, play hard, and cry hard.
You love you family fiercely and give the biggest, tightest hugs. You adore your big brother and even though the two of you fight, after being separated from each other you always want to play with him again. You dote on little Mason, love helping him to do things, and are always the first to console him when he is upset about something. You are so excited for a new baby and are always asking me questions about the baby and daily pat or kiss my stomach saying something to the little baby inside.
We always tell you how beautiful you are on the inside and the out. I love how you have no problem looking in the mirror and declaring that you look cute. I love even more that the other day when Little Man was saying something about your crazy morning you didn't miss a beat when you responded to him, "Being beautiful is what is on the inside."
So my wish for you on your fifth birthday? Always remember that. How truly beautiful you are and that you are a daughter of God. We love you baby girl! Happy (belated) Birthday!