Dear Miss M,
Well, we survived another year of each other. Happy 5th birthday, stinker pinker.
We've had a rough go of it sometimes this year, I think from both of us still trying to find our place in this world. You've tested me and pushed me, and I'm pretty sure I've done the same to you, but at the end of the day, you still smoosh my face, plant a wet one on me, and say "I love you, momma". It amazes me how quickly you can forgive and forget things, especially wrongs I've done to you. It must be hard, being the firstborn in a family, because you're basically the test run for everyone else, but you handle it with grace for the most part. You definitely have your moments, don't get me wrong. When you get really mad you jumble up your words and get even more frustrated, and come out with some great one liners like "I'm in a time out!" "it's not your fault, momma!". You never seem to lose it on non-family though, which amazes me. You still have such an innocence to you, you can't even seem to fathom when someone is being mean or rude to you, you just brush it off as if it wasn't at you. I wish I could be like that. I feel so protective of you still, but you're so big that people think you're older than you are, and expect more out of you for it. I feel like carrying around a sign that says "She's only 4(now 5), and yes, she has a speech delay. Please be nice." but that would be a disservice to you and your spirit. You catch on to things so much faster than I realize, and I need to learn to let you fly, even if there are some bumps and branches in the way.
Even though you fight, P just loves you. I love walking by your room before you've fallen asleep, and hearing you two playing or talking, or just sitting together reading a book. I hope you stay close as you both get bigger, you could be such great friends. And J just always wants to play with you two, wherever you are, he wants to be. You're SO good with him too, when we go on walks and he doesn't want to hold my hand he'll always willingly hold yours. You can be protective of him, and I hope as you all get older, that role is reversed and he and P protect you from any dumb boys who don't treat you well.
You've always been such a daddy's girl, and this year it's the same. I know you love me, but there's something about daddy... he loves you so much, and I know he worries as much as I do about how you're doing, especially now that you're in Kindergarten. Are you being shy and quiet, like you always are at first, in new situations? Are the other kids being nice, even if your words don't make complete sense sometimes? You got a great teacher, so we're hopeful... but still. We're parents, we worry.
I can't believe you're 5 years old, sometimes it feels so close since I woke up in the hospital, still very sleepy and out of it, and someone handed me this wrapped up bundle of squirm. You started to whimper and even though I was ready to nod off again, I started stroking your feet and saying "it's okay, it'll be okay", and you calmed down. It amazed me! Those first few days were such a blur, what a way to come in the world, but that's you, making an entrance. I also remember waking up the next day and there was your daddy in the rocking chair, holding you and just staring, stroking your hand. He wasn't even saying anything, just staring at you with this look of complete awe. It's a look I'll never forget, ever.
Happy 5th birthday, bubbas. I lovah lovah love you so very much.
(t-shirt by the lovely, awesome Miss Katey, click to see her cool knitting blog!)