Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Letter to My Daughter

Dear M,
You turned FOUR two months ago, so it's birthday letter time. I've put this off for a while because I wanted to include every. little. thing.  But I realize now that's impossible.  Every day you grow and learn and say some funny stuff -- I'll never be able to capture it all.

So who are you as this newly-turned four-year-old?  A hoot, that's what.  If I were limited to one word, HOOT works just fine.

But luckily it's my letter and I can say  more.

Sweet girl, you are hilarious, spunky, inquisitive, energetic, and loving, yet you can also be impatient, mischievous, and downright testy.  Sometimes I wonder whose kid you are because you are nothing like your daddy or me in so many ways, but then you say or do something that make me know that we are DEFINITELY your parents.

..like when you smile, and you look so much like your daddy.  Or when I'm putting on your clothes in the morning, and your arms are too long for a shirt that fits perfectly other places (you got your long arms from me).

You're a little bit of both of us, and a WHOLE LOT of yourself, sweet girl.  You are my sunshine, and I tell you that probably every day (in fact, "You Are My Sunshine" is our song).

Here are a few things you love at this age:
  • Stuffed animals
  • Playing outside
  • Disney movies (Cinderella is your current favorite)
  • The iPad
  • Dinosaurs, lizards, and snakes (our house is full of them -- fake ones, of course)
  • Reading and making up stories (you love your daddy's made-up stories the best)
  • Any kind of bread 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Sleeping in our bed (under your mama)
Stuffed animal hoarder...

A few things you DON'T love:
  • Bedtime
  • Loud noises
  • Naps
  • Cleaning your room
  • Sleeping in your own bed
  • And did I mention bedtime? (Seriously, when I tell you it's time for bed, your world comes crashing down.  The hard life of a four-year-old...)
We went for your annual checkup last week and learned that you are healthy and growing just as you should.  You're still a tall-ish girl, measuring in the 75th percentile for height (and 50th percentile for weight).  I am happy that you will be taller than your mother. In fact, the doc says you'll probably be a half-foot taller than me. I think that's pretty awesome (as long as you always know who's boss.)  :-)

You know things at four years old that I didn't know until mid- to late-elementary school.  For example, you're learning your presidents right now -- I'm amazed every time you say them.  I couldn't recite the presidents until fourth grade (and even then, it had to be in the form of a song).   The Books of the Bible?  Yep, you can recite those, too (I never learned to recite the Books, but I'm learning from you.). What's also super cool is that you're beginning to sound out words, and (according to the work you bring home) you're doing basic math problems. 

I can't even BEGIN to take credit for any of this.  We're blessed to have you in a child-centered preschool where you are loved tremendously and taught so much about love, the Bible, and just being a good person (in addition to all the cool stuff I mentioned above). Your favorite part of the school day, though?  Probably going outside, which you get to do twice a day. We're just as grateful that your preschool knows the value of physical activity, too because that means that some of that energy has been burned before Mommy picks you up in the afternoons.

You also enjoy going to what we call the "playroom" after school a few times a week.  Our gym has this amazing room for kids (run by two of the sweetest women) that is full of toys and has a playground attached. I go run on the track while you enjoy playtime with more friends. You love that place and feel like you're getting a treat after school.

You also love to travel, and you love being with your grandparents near and far. You love skirt and tights, pretty bows in your hair (most recently, beads), and the children's museum. You are very much like your mama in that way -- you love life and find the greatest joy in the simplest things.

I pray for you a lot, sweet girl. There are so many things I want to teach you, but there are three things that I want to point out today.  You may not understand these today, but one day you'll find truth (and hopefully comfort) in these words: 
  1. "If you keep God in your heart, there is nothing that will come into your life that you won't be able to handle." (Author Unknown)
  2. Be kind, smile, and treat people right. 
  3. "Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine." (Anthony J. D'Angelo)
If you do these things, your life will be grand. I promise.

I'll wrap up my letter to you, but know that you, my sweet girl, have taught your mama a lot. You are evidence of God's love and miracles, and I cannot be any more grateful that he chose your daddy and me to be your earthly parents.

I look forward to the lessons you'll bring me this year, Sunshine. Thanks for being your silly, inquisitive, energetic, testy, and loving self. I love you tremendously.

~ Mommy

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