Friday, July 8, 2011

And then she was 4

And somehow, three morphed into four.  How are you four?
Just a moment ago your were three...or were your two?  Or my god, weren't you just a few weeks old?  And now you're four.

You have so many ideas and opinions.  You are brutally honest about everything and do not seem to possess a thought filter.  You are still all girl - you are happiest when wearing skirts and dresses and being fancy.  You like to accessorize and beg for swipes of eyeshadow and dabs of lip gloss.
You don't let your skirts keep you from kicking balls, running in circles or climbing as high as you can get.  In the past few months you have fallen in love with the water and have done wonderfully at swim lessons.  Last year you would shriek if you went under water, yesterday you swam around so much under water that your eyes were bright pink for hours.

You love to talk to me, to your dad, to anyone who will listen.  You frequently start conversations with Hey Mom?  I gotta tell you something.  Often times you forget what you wanted to say and you simple say Um, I love you.  I never tire of hearing that - even when you are saying it to stay awake in the car or steal a few more minutes before bedtime or simply fill the silence.

This year you went to preschool two days a week - sometimes those days seemed to stretch on for weeks as I would miss you, my constant companion.  Other times the days seemed to end in seconds.  You made all sorts of new friends and learned so much - from how to ride a tricycle to how to hop on one foot. You came home with stories about Ava, Adam, Lindsay and Henry and loved our weekly carpooling with Nicholas. You can now spell your name, and you've finally figured out how to make a lowercase 'e'.  Your teacher, Miss Sue, described you as kindhearted, sweet, independent and adventurous.  She said you are inquisitive and polite.  At times she said you can be a bit sloppy, which is no surprise given your genealogy.

Your imagination continues to astound me.  You build all sorts of fantasy worlds with themes and princesses and good and evil.  You often play the part of the princess and whoever is around you is relegated to part of queen, prince, witch or creature.  In good weather you log hours out in the backyard - trying to hula hoop or jump rope.  You swing so high it makes my heart stop.  You decorate our patio with chalk drawings and you pick our potted herbs for snacks.  Sometimes you twirl at the top of our small hill and belt out the hills are aliiiive with the souuuuund of muuuusic or you stand in your play set  and warble a dozen different princess theme songs. 

You have a complete love affair with our neighborhood.  You think that Miss Kelsey, your babysitter, is just about the best thing in the world and beg for your dad and I to go out so Miss Kels will come play with you.  You also adore the rest of her family and can often be found hanging on the back fence talking to all of them.  You have buddies across the street who you want to visit every time you spot their car - often we have to go over just to say Hi or you will pout for hours.  Nicholas continues to be your best bud - you two rarely fight and are so kind to each other that my heart often melts.

Family is still super important to you and your face lights up when you talk about them or to them.  On your birthday you got to speak to Aunt Nikki, who was in Spain, over Skype and I though your smile was going to jump off your face you were so excited to see and hear her.  You often request that you get to say Hi to whomever I am on the phone with and you still believe that mom and dad's friends are really only your friends.

You have shown a bit more of your diva side as of late.  There has been some foot stomping, crocodile tears and ear shattering screaming.  In those moments I have to take a deep breath and try to remind myself that you are just trying to figure out your place in this big world.

You have gotten so tall and so big.  You are wearing size 10 shoes and 4T clothes are too small for you.   You no longer ride in a car seat and have graduated to a booster seat, which you think is so cool. The dimples that were on your wrists are no longer and there is not a trace of of those amazing rolls that adorned your thighs.  You're taller than most kids your age and skinny as a beanpole, even though you often eat like a wrestler in training.  The only place I still see traces of your babiness in in your face - I think those cherubic cheeks are going to stay with you, which makes me incredibly happy.

Your birthday party is tomorrow and you keep telling me that it is going be such a special day.  I know that it will be, as you will get to have your pink Aurora cake and more presents and be the center of everything, as you so adore.  But I am beginning to realize that everyday with you is a special day, even the bad days.  You are full of spunk and vivaciousness.  You are honest and sensitive.  You are creative and funny.  You are thoughtful and intuitive.  You have made me and you dad shockingly better people and have brightened our world to technicolor.  This is your last birthday where it will just be the three of us.  By the time you are five you will have logged months of being a big sister - I can't wait to see you in action as a sister.  I have no doubt that you will be patient and kind and embrace your new role wholeheartedly.

You are my still little baby...and you always will be, even though you keep on growing.  Happy fourth birthday, my sweet girl.

8 comments:

Colleen said...

Tears. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Happy Birthday Addie!! Wish we were close enough to help you celebrate!

Kathy said...

Tears, tears and more tears. How can it be that my baby girl's baby girl is already 4???I agree with Colleen...I wish I was there for the celebration!

Sue said...

Tears! And cheers! Happy B-day to the first little girl of our LU group!

Nikki said...

Nothing like crying in the lounge of a hostel. I can NOT believe that my baby niece is already 4! I too wish I could be there to celebrate but Ill see you guys on the beach in 8 days!

LMK said...

I guess you made us all cry! Birthdays are so bittersweet! Happy Birthday Addie!

TKW said...

What a lovely tribute! Happy birthday to the most gorgeous child on the planet!

Mich said...

I read this for the first time in the car driving back from Lake Geneva and it definitely made me cry. And now, because I like to torture myself, I just read it again at work.

What a special little girl you have there.

joelle said...

Jess,
Thanks for making each and every one of us who read your beautiful tribute to a very special 4 year old cry. We are blessed you are our neighbors! Addie is welcome to pull her chair over and chat with us anytime!!