I've felt the words to this letter burn in my heart for over a week and yet I haven't been able to make myself sit and write them out. They are painful for this mama because I feel this fifth birthday like the growing pains of growing up. I look at you and feel the lump in my throat, the tightening in my chest, and the overwhelming feeling of wanting to hold on tighter to you as you want to express your independence from me. I am face to face with the reality that I am raising you, training you, and loving you to leave me. I want nothing more than for you to be a remarkable woman, but I want nothing more than for you to stay my baby. It's a delicate balance.
Oh I know you are only five. Many will say I am being over-emotional. Maybe I am. But, for some reason, this birthday feels like a huge milestone in our lives. Five! A whole hand! You are no longer the infant who never slept, (I'm just now forgiving you for that, wink) the toddler who taught us true joy, or even the pre-schooler who welcomed a baby brother into her life with open and oh so tender arms. You are a little lady. A beauty, inside and out.
One of my favorite things about you is your love for other people. You truly have such a tender heart. I love seeing you with other kids, especially little babies. You'll stop what you are doing to make them smile or laugh. When we are out shopping you see things and think of friends of yours and how much they would like that particular item. I pray fervently that God uses your heart for others mightily for His kingdom.
You love to learn! Almost every day you ask what we are, "gonna learn 'bout today." You are much better about keeping me accountable in your learning than I am. Most of the time it is totally initiated by you. Although you love doing school at home you aren't sure at all about real Kindergarten. Thankfully (for you and for mama) we aren't sending you to the big school this year. That gives us a whole year to work on getting you ready for that huge step! You are so smart. I really am not too biased on this one. ;) You have an amazing memory. You remember things that your daddy and I have to search our memory banks for! We can be driving, see something on tv, or you can even just hear something in a conversation and remember the most amazing things!
You are WAY into princesses and dressing up and being girly...as long as it is play clothes. Your favorite princess is Aurora even though you've never even seen Sleeping Beauty. We think you like her best because of her pink dress. :) You hate having your hair done and have refused to wear bows for at least two years now. I can still sneak in a cute hair accessory in the way of headbands as of now. Most days you want to wear comfy clothes or your pajamas and only want to get ready if we are going somewhere. You truly have your own perception of style! :)
You are the most darling little girl and I am so proud of you. It's an honor to be your mama. It is my greatest joy. I'm thankful (and oftentimes scared and overwhelmed) that God entrusted me with raising you. I will love you forever and no matter what.
I love you to the moon and back fourteen million times.
PS: For fun here is your 5 year birthday interview....