For my baby girl on your 5th birthday. What a year it has been.
I’ve been remembering in wonder and awe that I actually gave birth to you and it’s now been exactly five years. From the moment people began visiting you in the hospital, I started hearing two statements over and over so many times that I felt it was going to drive me crazy. The first was “She is so little; I can’t even believe my kids were once that little!” The second, “Treasure this time because it goes by so fast.” Adjusting to a newborn was so mind-boggling that it was hard to believe it could ever be a distant memory. But it is.
It is hard to believe you were ever a tiny baby. I look at pictures of you back then and look at you now – how much you’ve grown, how much you’ve learned (not to mention how much I’ve learned), and it is enough to stop me in my tracks. This past year has probably been the most eventful yet. You can read a little, write a lot, you seem to know so much about so many things, and you have finally started to understand a little bit of logic.
You are full of joy, confidence, and pride. In fact you often ask me if you are the smartest/prettiest/best at something. As your mother, I totally think you are, but I’ve been working to teach you a modicum of humility. We’re still working on it.
Your personality has developed so much in the last year – mostly good, but I’ll admit that some of it’s frustrating. The drama that everybody told us we would experience with a girl has shown its face, if only a little. You definitely will start to cry at some of the most seemingly bizarre things and we’ve finally seen you have a temper tantrum or two (or three or four …). You’ve managed to say “ugh!” in a way that I don’t think I perfected until the ninth grade. You’ve also developed all sorts of fears that we are eager for you to overcome. Let’s see, there are tornadoes and other natural disasters. Shadows. Sharks. Bugs. Crabs with pinchers … and don’t even get me started on deer heads.
We’ve noticed that you are extremely sensitive to loud noises and while this isn’t new, it’s amazing to watch you learn to cope and deal with it. You don’t like the sound of the tornado siren, so if you hear it you just run inside. Fireworks used to be too loud for you, but now you’re okay if you’re wearing ear plugs. If a baby starts crying, you cover your ears. You used to scream when we turned on the vacuum cleaner, now you cover your ears. Actually, you cover your ears a lot … but it’s certainly nice that it keeps you calm.
If I’m being completely honest, one of my favorite things about you is that whenever the teapot starts to whistle, you yell, “TEAPOT!” as if you think you’re the only one who hears the it.
So in the blink of an eye you went from four to five. You are still a princess through and through. You love to wear dresses and jewelry, play with dolls and barbies. You are all girl, but you’re the coolest girl I know. You genuinely make me laugh. You love to cross your eyes and love it when your Nana calls you, “Gladly the cross-eyed bear.” You are funny and silly, and so very happy. As pretty as you like to be, you love to run and play, and you do it with gusto.
I would really like you to slow down, but I feel so honored that I get to be with you as you grow. Happy Birthday.