Dear Baby Girl,
Now that you’re 4-years-old, attending school, and beginning to read books by yourself, I am finally convinced that you are, indeed, growing up, and that one day, you will, indeed, be an actual full-grown adult. Somehow I didn’t really believe it until now. It crushes me to see you growing up so fast, a weighty mix of pride, gratitude, whistfulness and hope.
You’re starting to ask big questions, like, “Who made us?” and “How did we become people?,” and so I do my best to give open-ended “this is what I believe about God” answers (because one day I want you to decide for yourself) and the bare bones of evolution, except now I’m pretty sure you literally think you used to be a monkey and that God is like Santa, “cause they’re both magic, Mommy,” which wasn’t exactly what I was saying, but I think you get the gist.
And when you’re not asking things like, “How did God make my shirt?” you’re exhibiting a very peculiar fascination with eyeballs, in that you think they’re somehow hilarious. For example, we’ll be eating dinner or driving in the car or standing in line at the store and you’ll say things like, “Who punched my eyeball?” or “There goes my eyeball” or “I see my eyeball” and start laughing hysterically, just like you used to do whenever you randomly mentioned poop. I’m assuming this is something you’ve picked up from your little posse at school (yes, you have a posse). I totally don’t get it, but then again, I am not 4-years-old. I cannot wait for Eyeball Obsession 2014 to end, but in the meantime, your little brother is now also running around the house yelling about his eyeballs, and I am developing a slight fear that something may actually happen to one of your eyeballs.
You’re in 4-year-old kindergarten, and school has ignited such joy and growth in you. From learning to write the entire alphabet, adding and subtracting, learning letter sounds and now reading!!!! you are blowing our minds with how much you’re learning. Listening to you slowly put letter sounds together into a word is like watching you push open a big, heavy door to a whole new world of truths, fantasies and independence. Life will completely change for you when all those words and letters you see everywhere make sense and you discover a whole new way to express, entertain and educate yourself.
School has also brought a new slew of buddies who you adore, and I love watching you interact with them. I have to admit, I pay close attention to the role you adopt with the group, watching to see if you stand up for yourself, are kind and feel free to act silly. So far I’ve deduced that you’re 4-years-old and just want to have fun and can get a long with almost any playmate.
Dare I say that I think we’re tip toeing out of the picky eater thing? You actually seem to want to try new foods, and often exclaim, “Love it!” after one bite, and then I buy/cook a whole bunch of it, all giddy with excitement, and then you decide you hate it. So that’s been fun. But I’m confident that in a few more years, you’ll be even more open to new foods and hating a lot less of them.
One of the biggest joys of my life is watching you and your brother play and laugh together. You two are tight – I’ve even heard you tell him he’s your best friend – and 75% of the time you genuinely enjoy each other. The remaining 25% is a blur of screaming, crying and hitting, but I feel like you two are building a rock solid foundation for a hopefully (fingers crossed really tight) lifelong friendship.
My Little Girl, you continue to blow my mind numerous times a day, and I just hope I’m doing you justice as your mother. I wish the big, grown-up you could know the little you, because you are pure joy and happiness. No emotional trauma yet, no big wounds to spend years trying to heal. Not jaded at all. And as you continue to get taller, interact with new posses and push open even more big, heavy doors, I will continue to watch you, to see if you will still stand up for yourself, be kind, act silly and play well with others. Because if you can do those things for the rest of your life, there’s a good chance that joy and happiness will stick around.
I love you, I love you, I love you, my sweet, sweet, baby girl.
- A New Year, A New Noise.
- Words…Writing Some and Finding Some