A few days ago you turned four. You were a little confused by the fact that your birthday and your birthday party were not the same day. People kept asking you when your birthday was and you would hesitate and say, “my birthday is today, but my real birthday is on Saturday.” Apparently your birthday is not REAL unless you are surrounded by family, friends, presents, and cake. I guess that’s fair. So I delayed writing this letter until after your birthday party so I could include your “real birthday” in the recap.
For your birthday this year we had a carnival party. You are obsessed with having your face painted, so we found a face painter and decided on a carnival theme. We also had Penny’s Puppet’s come and she put on a fantastic puppet show about Myrna the Mermaid. You were in pure heaven. And then to top it off, you got to have cupcakes with sprinkles (another favorite of yours) and all your generous friends showered you with gifts. You, being the amazingly sweet girl that you are, made comments like “Oh this is just what I’ve always wanted!” and “I love it so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” with each gift you opened.
Aside from your birthday, the big news around here is that you are finally a Big Sister. A title you have adopted with nothing but pride and enthusiasm. You could not be more in love with Hadley. You are always checking on her, kissing her, hugging her, and asking if you can hold her. It is the sweetest thing ever. I am so happy that you have made the transition smoothly from being an only child to having to share everything with your little sister. Instead of feeling threatened or jealous, you share with her willingly and totally understand that you have to wait your turn from time to time. I am so proud of you and it’s made things really easy for all of us.
While your obsession with babies has now been focused exclusively on your little sister, the rest of your interests haven’t changed much over the last year. You are still in love with dance. So much, in fact, that I now have you in two classes a week. One class is “Pre-Ballet” and the other class is “Shuffle, Point, Swing” which covers tap, ballet, and jazz. I held out for as long as possible on introducing you to tap because I wasn’t excited about shoes with the exclusive purpose of making you louder, but we talked about it and you understand that you are only allowed to wear your tap shoes during class. Simple solution. And watching you dance is so cute, I’m glad I finally gave in and let you experience the different genres of dance.
You are also still obsessed with horses. We have done several horse related activities this year and each time I am more and more convinced that your horse fixation is going to be around for quite some time. After our last horse encounter, naturally you asked if you could have your own horse. Not wanting to give you an immediate, “NO!” and crush all your hopes and dreams, we decided to make a deal. When you are six, if you are still interested, you can start taking riding lessons. Then after several years of lessons, if you are still interested, we can look into leasing or possibly getting you a horse. It has held you over for now and that’s all I can ask. We’ve got to give you something to look forward to, right?
A new obsession this year is with your friend, Owen. While he has been your friend since birth (a lovely benefit of your mothers being such great friends), in the last few months you have decided that you are going to marry Owen. Thankfully, Owen is willing to go along with this plan. I think his willingness to do anything you say is part of the appeal of choosing him to be your future husband (a characteristic I wholeheartedly believe a husband should possess). While I think it’s adorable, you almost made your Grandpa Larry fall out of his chair when you introduced him to Owen saying, “Grandpa, this is Owen. I’m going to marry him some day.”
I have to take a moment to mention what a kind and thoughtful person you have become. You are so generous it often astounds me. Now I’m not talking about sharing toys (Don’t even get me started on the TWO play dates–with TWO different boys– that have ended in tears because we only have one damn Thomas train…that you NEVER play with.) because, let’s be honest, you are FOUR. No, I’m talking about always thinking of others. Like when there is one cookie left, you offer to split it with your daddy. And you always, ALWAYS give him the bigger piece. Kids your age just don’t think that way. They are way more likely to shove the entire cookie in their mouth without even thinking about it and barely grunting out so much as a “thank you” in return. But you are always polite, respectful, and considerate of those around you.
While the majority of the time you are sweet and wonderful, you do have a stubborn streak. Your dad just told me a story about what happened the other night when he was trying to get you to try some mashed potatoes. You kept insisting that you did not like them. He eventually said, “That’s fine, you don’t have to have any on your plate. But I just want you to try them.” You took a bite of his potatoes and said, “Yep, I don’t like mashed potatoes.” Later in the meal your dad had to get up from the table at which point you snuck over to his plate and started eating his potatoes. He came back to the table and caught you eating large spoonfuls of the very thing you just proclaimed to hate. He said, “I thought you didn’t like them.” And you, sticking to your guns, simply said, “I don’t.”
Well, my little love bug, it has been another fantastic year. I know I always say that the stage you are at right NOW is my favorite and that continues to be true. Every moment with you is better than the one before. I look forward to each and every day with honest enthusiasm because I know it’s another day I get to spend with you. I do not want to take anything for granted and I want to make sure we enjoy every day to the very fullest. Whether that’s spending the day in our pajamas curled up together on the couch watching episodes of iCarly or driving all over Portland looking for the next “hot spot” for kids. As long as we do it together, it will be perfect. I love seeing the world through your eyes. Not only because it keeps me young, but because everything is beautiful, fresh, and fascinating. Just like you.
All my love,