You are five years old. We have five years worth of memories together- and yes my life began only when I met you. I seem to have no memories ( none worth remembering) before your existence, and now that you’re here I have no memory that doesn’t include, or revolve around you. Now how’s that for love?
Someday you will read this list (I hope you read them all) and I pray that you are as an adult- every bit of the woman you are as a child. If I had your spirit I would rule the world. If I had your courage, I would fight a dragon. If I had your confidence, I would marry a prince. If I had your hair, I would rock a flower crown. But I have none of those things, instead I have the pleasure of being your mother and knowing that I gave back to the universe someone better than myself.
So here you are a whole year wiser, older, greater than any of the years before. I loved you at four ( if possible) than I did at any year before it. You’re my appendage, my partner, my sounding board at times- and so who better to write a list of you, than me? (Well maybe you, but you’re four! )
YOU ARE INTERESTING: I don’t think that anyone who knows you, thinks of you as a kid at all. You’re so interesting and worldly- for a kid that hasn’t studied abroad. You say “ta-ta” when you’re leaving your friends and I don’t know why you say it- you just do. You speak in a British accent whenever you have tea party ; you’re the Emily Post of 4 year olds.
YOU ARE SERIOUS: My child you are very serious. You treat everything with the up most importance. Even the things that should be fun and silly, are serious to you.
YOU ARE GENUINE: You say what you mean, and mean what you say. You speak your truth and that will limit the amount of fake friends you have in this life.
YOU ARE INSIGHTFUL: You mostly use your powers for good- but you definitely can feel energy change and shift. You are a lighting rod of emotion. If anything is off with me (most especially) your whole body and attitude will shift too.
YOU ARE INDEPENDENT: You are capable of anything and you rarely need help- but that’s not what makes you independent. It’s the fact that your thoughts are your own. You are not afraid to question anyone or any theory, and you love to spend time alone. This is one quality you have that I can honestly say I’ve never seen in another child before. You can, and will, play for hours alone in your room, and you prefer it that way. If we’re out with your friends ( no matter how much you love them) you will start to meltdown if you haven’t had enough alone time. I have watched you retreat from a house full of company, begging to be left alone. You will reemerge more centered and even. It’s been the hardest thing about you for me to accept, because I am more like your brother and crave constant togetherness. But I have to say knowing this about you has made me respect your process, and practice some of it myself.
YOU ARE MUSICAL: You love music; it moves you. This year you started voice lessons and continued with ballet. I tear up every time I watch you dance or make up a song. You have a beat in your heart and a song in your spirit. It’s brilliant to watch you express yourself.
YOU ARE SMART: You blow me away with your brilliance. You can read small books now, and have been for about 6 months, but it’s not your ability to sound out new words that’s so impressive- it’s your ability to comprehend what your reading and the questions you’ll ask while reading to me. You love math problems and can add and subtract double digits. You’re this tiny thinker- and I so admire your love for learning.
YOU ARE SASSY: I think these go hand in hand because you have to be smart to be sassy.
YOU ARE AN AMAZING BIG SISTER: I sometimes wonder if I would have been able to expand our family without you. Having you as my first child is the gift that keeps on giving. I tell friends all the time that I rely on you way more than I should. You could give any of our babysitters a run for their money. You are patient, because dealing with your little brother is a full time job. He hits, slaps, pulls, picks, and tackles you every second of every day and you don’t loose your cool. I do- all the time. But not you. You are steady and sweet.
YOU ARE A LEADER: You will often come up with a game to play with friends, and an idea to try with Daddy and I. You argue your point(s) and you are not easily intimidated. You speak with confidence, and you even know when to back down. This is the trick to womanhood- and you have it all figured out.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL: You are my favorite person to photograph and that will never change. You are lovely to look at my girl, but there is an honesty in your face that makes you magical. This year we spent a lot of time talking about the fact that you’re mixed, that your skin is brown, that your hair is curly, and how all of those elements make you special. It doesn’t matter how anyone in this whole world sees you, what matters is how you see you. I hope you know, that I believe you are the most beautiful person in this universe- but it’s a package deal. Stupid people are ugly- no matter how beautiful they might appear to be. The same is true for arrogant people, mean people, and people with no sense of humor.
YOU ARE COOL: Listen, I don’t know what regular school is going to be like. I have visions of me beating up kids that hurt your feelings- and then I remember they’re just kids. You can hold your own. You are so cool. You love Princesses, but you can take or leave the Prince. You adore your friends, but you know your own limitations. So if next year comes and someone has something nasty to say try to remember that no one defines you- but you. And me…I define you daily.
YOU ARE BETTER AT EVERYTHING THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE: You are a fantastic friend. You are a great little early reader. You are rocking your senior year of preschool. You are getting better at being considerate. You are awesome at this sister gig. You are killing the grandchild thing- seriously they think you’re amazing. You are a great kid.
Of all the things you are- YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE. The day you found me, you gave me purpose, but your purpose is so much bigger than me. Your purpose is written in the stars and the whole world is waiting to see what you add to it. Add color and life. Add patience and tolerance. Add beauty- the kind that comes from confidence and self- acceptance. Contribute something so much greater than yourself that when you look back at it you think- I must be made of unicorns and magic. That’s what I think. I think it everyday. I think it every. single. day. that I see you.
“Whatever our souls are made of, yours and mine are the same.”- Bronte
I adore you. You- who are bigger than the sun and more abundant than all the stars.