A letter to my daughter on her fourth birthday
Dear daughter, a letter on your fourth birthday.
You are the one who made me a mother. You are the one who changed my world. And this year, you are four.
I can’t believe it’s been four years since you blew into my life and turned everything I thought I knew on its head. Before you arrived I thought that life was so full of certainties and absolutes. Now I know better.
We’ve learned a lot together this year. You are now a very real person with thoughts and opinions on just about everything. I know this because you spend all day long sharing them with me. And although I miss the little things – like peace and quiet – I love getting to experience the world through your eyes.
You’re a force of nature now, a storm with hurricane force emotions and arms that can flatten buildings in an instant. It’s funny because I never imagined one tiny person could do so much damage, could make so much noise, and could take me from one emotion to the next so swiftly.
Anger, frustration, joy, pride, all in a matter of moments. You blow into a room and change the mood immediately. You’re so full of questions and won’t take “I don’t know” for an answer. I know it’s trying now (especially when I am trying to merge into traffic while you are rapid fire asking me about every single thing you see out the window) but some day your inquisitive nature will serve you well.
Some day, you’ll be a grown up. Your latest thing is saying that you want to be a superhero when you grow up, but you already are in the eyes of your sister. The way she looks up to you and follows you around the house. She wants to be you. And although you get annoyed when she tries to get into what you’re doing, most of the time you’re setting a great example for her. The hugs, the kisses, the kind and caring way you always offer her some of whatever you’re eating or run to get her a stuffed animal when she’s crying.
Strangers are always quick to comment on your kindness and compassion. It’s usually the first thing they notice about you (followed quickly by how beautiful your eyes are). The girl you comforted at dance class, the compliments you give people as you pass them in the grocery store, you’re always giving.
You’ve also inherited the family stubborn streak, sorry about that.
You cannot, will not, be told that it is time to go or time to stop doing something if you’re having fun. You have a laser focus when it comes to doing the things you love, and you obsess over dogs and delight in telling stories and jokes (anything for a laugh, I can’t imagine who you inherited that from).
Your emotions grew right alongside of you this year. While they are big and overwhelming at times, they are letting us get an even bigger sneak peek into the person you are becoming: a true blend of the wildest parts of me and your father.
Even though you drive me crazy at times, you are the very best of me, and the very best of your dad. I wouldn’t want you any other way.
Stay wild, stay loud, stay so very you.
Happy fourth birthday.