Tomorrow our little girl turns five years old! She has been looking forward to this day for months. Back in November she boldly announced, “I put magic in the air and today is January! Today I turn five!”
I have a feeling she’ll be waking up very, very early tomorrow morning. (Oh, joy!)
Looking back on the past twelve months, I am blown away by how she’s grown in so many ways. Here are some highlights, plus my favorite photos of her from the past year.
At four years old she started to tie shoelaces, worked hard on her writing, began reading silently to herself, learned how to knit, madly assembled Puzzleballs (she’s working on a 540 piece one right now).
She developed her own crazy-fun fashion sense, wearing layers of skirts under all her dresses “for extra poof.”
She began helping around the house more, setting the table for dinner, cleaning up her toys, unloading the dishwasher, and helping fold and put away laundry. (She almost got over her fear of the noisy vacuum cleaner too, occasionally helping me vacuum around the house.)
She fell passionately in love with The Nutcracker (both the Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington versions) and classical music, frequently dancing and acting out the accompanying stories.
We read so many fantastic books, including the Sarah, Plain and Tall saga, Boxcar Children series, and an abridged form of Pride and Prejudice, and watched as our daughter then role played favorite scenes from the books. (She also then read them aloud to herself; she’s been busy rereading the first three Boxcar Children books over and over again the last few weeks.)
She spent countless hours cooking away in her play kitchen, recreating actual recipes from Giada de Laurentiis’ cooking show (a special, occasional treat to watch) and from kids cookbooks, often recruiting Dad and I to help her chop, stir, mix, or pour.
She continued her Music Together lessons and discovered the joy of singing rounds together. She also began teaching herself the piano; “Mom, I’m using the sounds to find the keys.”
She explored a variety of careers, playing hair salon, dentist, doctor, midwife, and chiropractor. She even made her own “Play Calendar” filled with pretend appointments for her friends.
She pondered many of life’s great philosophical questions such as, “How did the first kitten grow without a mother?!” and explored the concept of death. When her imaginary friend Savannie died she explained, “She died before she was a grown-up. So she’ll never be a grown-up. Her mom is still alive.” (Several weeks later we learned that “Savanie is alive again. Mom, she can fly. She has magic wings! Her mama made them.” PHEW.)
She felt things very deeply this year, including both her love AND frustration towards us. Back in April, in a moment of anger with me, she announced, “Daddy and I are going to move out. I’m packing all my books!”
Another time she explained, “Mom, I can’t hold my temper. I just don’t know what to do.” We had many weeks of melt-downs and heart-felt apologies this fall… at the same time, she loves us fiercely (oh, the kisses and hugs!) and often wants to be right by our side. Growing up and becoming more independent can be hard.
She’s been incredibly excited about becoming a big sister (after several years of wishing and hoping for a sibling!). My belly gets dozens of hugs and kisses every day, and she’s constantly talking to her future brother, chatting on and on to him (and pretending he’s answering back). I am excited about the next few weeks as we watch our daughter become a big sister!
What a year of tremendous growth, so much fun, and plenty of little girl drama. Year five was incredible!
Happy fifth birthday, sweetie! May this upcoming sixth year be just as fun.