You turned 5 last week and I have been somewhat reluctant to write about your year for a number of reasons, one of which is that writing about it is admitting that it came and went already. While there are incredible, noteworthy things that happened, all I can really focus on is the fact that it is just another year of my time with you that has already passed. And I promise I am not maudlin during the day in and day out routine of our lives but I can't shake that bit of ache that entered my heart the first time I saw you and decided that I wanted to be by your side forever.
So, at times I am reduced to math - there are 525,600 minutes in a year (thanks Rent) which means that we have spent roughly 2.6 million minutes together and about 1,800 days and if you start to factor in the time I have been at work the number diminishes and it really doesn't seem like much time at all. But, the fact of the matter is that I have about 3.5 more sets of 5 years before you are off to college and then out on your own and I can't help it. I already worry about how much I will miss you!
Fortunately, I am usually distracted and don't have time to worry about the minutes and the days and the years during the normal course of things. I am too busy thinking about things like the fact that you picked a hand this year. You are a lefty just like your grandfather and lefties are brilliant people, what? When you figured out that you like writing with your left hand the best everything came together. Suddenly the drawings you brought home were of things and not abstract scribble scratch and you could write names and cut...with actual scissors (just wait until we get you a lefty pair).
This year you overcame your fear of rocking horses and (maybe) carousels and you now love space walks and have opinions about outfits and hairstyles and you learned the meaning of the word sarcasm. You started sounding out words and learning to spell and write and count to 100 and name all of the states in the U.S.A. You started playing video games (much to your dad's joy) and traded silly bandz and continued to play endlessly with your princess figures and your my little pony dolls and you fell in love with Princess and the Frog and developed a long enough attention span to enjoy novels as bedtime stories.
You played soccer and the piano and danced a ballet in front of an audience of over 100 people and - yeah - I know I said they weren't but they actually were looking at you and they were smiling because there is something really adorable about a tiny, smiley kid playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Sorry.
You developed a love for terrible, Disney, pre-teen music and top 10 radio hits that make me want to pull my hair out. You became addicted to Phineas and Ferb (I still blame your dad for this one). And, you spent most nights right before bath time dancing around your room with James for 10 minutes in a leotard and 'dancing' shoes. It is so hilarious but yet deeply personal to you (and James) so I have not been allowed to video it. Yet.
You learned more about saying good bye to people you love and the heartache that comes when you finally figure out that all of the wishing in the world cannot bring them back. You were filled with optimism and grace and hugs and kisses - the perfect medicine to pull me back from a very dark place.
You also learned about growing up and toddler-hood and the utter destruction in the wake of Hurricane James and instead of behaving like a normal person and getting frustrated and losing your patience you nurtured and laughed and took deep breaths and held out your hand so he could find it and walk right by your side - his favorite place to be.
Most of all...you started to become an even more awesome and lovable kid and I cannot imagine how it is that I got to be so lucky.
Happy Birthday baby girl. Love, Mama