A letter to my daughter on her 4th birthday
Happy birthday, chicky! I can't believe you are 4! You still love string cheese, strawberries, chocolate and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You still only drink water and you have never had a cookie that you didn't like. You still love to sing and dance but you sing louder now and you dance more too. I can't begin to explain the joy in my heart when I see you and your gorgeous golden curls bouncing around the living room. I remember being in Walgreens with you, and one of your favorite songs came on, we started dancing and someone yelled "Party in aisle 15!", you got so embarrassed but you kept dancing, we still have the best dance parties. While most of the time I am dancing with you, sometimes I just sit and watch you, because when you dance, you light up the whole room. Your smile is still as bright as a spotlight and your laugh is still infectious. I also, still can't believe your mine. You are super good at making messes but also super good at cleaning them up. You love princess bubble baths and doing puzzles. You love making your bed and you really love sleeping with all 12 of your favorite stuffed animals placed just so at the foot of your bed. You love to see mommy and daddy hugging and you really like to call us the best family. You love making surprise tea parties and you are so amazing at sharing. You are a little comedian and say the funniest things, most of the time when it’s just me and you, I wish more people could hear the things you say. You love to be tickled and you hate getting in trouble so most of the time, you are a really good girl. You are a great cuddle bunny and one of the best negotiators I know, especially when you try to explain how you are too full to finish dinner but not too full for dessert (like mother like daughter, lol). You don’t really like when I brush your hair but you do love when I put it in a braid, you always look at yourself in the mirror and squeal because you love braids like me, too.
You dancing at the Halloween Parade!
You are so vibrant!
Your personality is really starting to blossom. With each passing day, you become more caring and more kind. More delicate but also more brave. More eager but more patient, more silly but also more responsible. And more special to me and your Daddy then we could have ever imagined. Even though you are such a young girl, you have a very mature, benevolent soul. When we go on our adventures, you tend to look for gifts for others before you look for yourself. I remember moments over the last year where your sweet nature left me speechless. Like the one day you saw a bird in the snow and you cried because she didn't have a jacket, that was such a sweet thought, that I cried with you. She must have felt your warm soul while she was flying by, because she came and sat by the window for a while. Now, that same bird comes to see you every morning, I love the sweet song you sing to each other. Or like the time we were out to eat and you saw a man standing by himself waiting for his food. You asked me where his family was and I said, maybe he is here by himself. You asked if we could let him come eat with us saying, "nobody should be alone, we are all kind of family, right?". I just stared at you for a second because I didn't know how to react. I mean, here you are this young little girl but you understand the importance of making people feel included even if you don't know them. By the way, that man's wife came out of the potty shortly after and you told me "Aw, I am so happy someone loves him." and my heart almost exploded. One day, while I was working, a patient was very mean to me and I cried a lot. You really hate to see people cry and you are so very compassionate. You grabbed my face and said “Mommy I’m here for you. Take a deep breath and count to ten.” It was such a sweet moment. I have absolutely loved being able to have a job where I can work but also be home with you especially on days when I need a hug, you sure do give the best hugs.
I know that the fact that you are 4 means the days of you staying home with me are coming to an end. Soon you will be going to school and meeting new kids, who hopefully turn into friends. But I have to be honest, the thought of this, terrifies me. Not the fact of you making new friends, because I know you are going to be an excellent friend. But, I am afraid of how harsh this world has become and my biggest fear is that it will change your soul and I will be honest, I have cried about this a lot. But I also know that these are MY fears, not yours. So I promise, I will try my hardest to keep these fears to myself. There is a song that I love, that I heard for the first time shortly after I found out I was pregnant with you. It is from the band One Republic and it is called "I lived". Once I was going to a painting class with Dear, Titi, Minnie Mouse and Ann Marie. I knew I wanted to paint this particular picture for you, and the moment I walked inside the paint studio, this song started to play. I cried a lot, again.
In this song, the lyrics transform fears into hopes. So instead of focusing on what I fear in having you grow, I would love to tell you what I hope for you, instead.
I hope that you never stop dancing, even if you are the only one who hears the music. I hope you continue to dance to the beat of your own drum and I hope you know that you don't need to rely on anyone else to have a good time. I hope that you become the person who will stand up for others even if they can't stand up for themselves (I am sure this goes without saying but I hope that you will stand up for yourself, too). I hope that you become stronger with each day but I hope that you remain just as gentle. Last year, I had the opportunity to go zip lining ( I am terrified of heights) and after making several people wait longer than an hour, I chickened out, I cried so bad because I was so disappointed. I thought "How can I teach her to be fearless, if I am not?". I hope that you understand that it is ok to be afraid of things but it is NOT ok to let those fears make you back down, instead, you must face them and conquer them. With that being said, I am determined to conquer zip lining for myself this year (and for you), because I hope I can be someone that you can look up to.
When I chickened out a zip lining
I hope that no matter who you encounter in the world, that you never let them change your soul. I hope that you realize sometimes the people who are the meanest are the ones who need love the most. I hope that you always know you can turn to me and I hope that you know that I will always be your biggest fan. There is something about your pure, genuine heart that makes you sparkle and I hope you never let anyone take that sparkle away, I can guarantee you that no-one is worthy of that. I hope that you remain thankful and giving. I hope that you never underestimate the power of a smile or hug. I hope you never settle. I hope that in a world that has a lot of darkness, you can remain a beam of light to yourself and those around you. I hope you know how much it means to me that I get to watch you grow. I hope you know how much I love our walks and our Starbucks dates. I hope you know that I love jumping over cracks in the sidewalk with you and holding your hand while you fall asleep. I love playing hide and seek in the house with you and I hope we keep on having amazing dance parties. I hope that you understand how much I love you and I hope you know how much you have changed my world. You will forever be my best girl.
I love you my chicky,