Four. Four years old. Full of emotions, opinions, and inspirations. Full of spunk and full of song. Full of laughter and a love of learning. Full of big feelings, big ideas, big questions, and a big heart. You love books and puzzles, dancing and drumming, making up songs and playing in the yard. Your skills in art and in music are growing in leaps and bounds, and you are beginning to recognize some familiar written words.
Last week, I had the opportunity visit your preschool classroom. I'm not sure which one of us was more proud. You were confident and comfortable, social with your friends and respectful of your teachers. Your teachers describe you as talkative, funny, and matter-of-fact.
You thrive on routine and are always asking what's going to happen next. You love your family, and your reaction to being reunited with any one of us after a few hours apart makes my heart explode. You've started to become annoyed, at times, with your little brother's adoration for you and insistence on doing everything his big sister does. Still, you are an excellent big sister and your patience with and delight in him are far more prominent than your occasional aggravation.
Your ability to express your emotions is matched by your empathy for others. You have an impressive emotional vocabulary for your age, and use it to describe your own feelings as well as those around you. You're quick to give a hug, a pat on the arm, or kind words to someone who is feeling sad or upset.
In the last year, you've grown and changed in far too many ways to adequately document here. You have challenged me to grow and change to keep up! My brilliant, beautiful daughter, you teach me more every day about the kind of parent I want to be, while keeping me in touch with the innocence and wonder of childhood.
This letter comes a day late, after 3 days full of birthday festivities, 2 birthday cakes, and 1 gracious birthday girl. From my perspective, it was your best birthday yet! This year, you've mastered blowing out candles, opening gifts, saying thank you, and even sharing your new toys. You dressed up your own birthday pancake, picked out your own birthday outfit, and even helped me make your birthday dinner.
Happy birthday to my big girl!