Thursday, July 12, 2012

Finally Five

Dear Addie,
You've been five for almost a week and I am just now finding a few moments to sit down and digest that fact. Five years old seems, to me, monumental. It is a milestone birthday in my mind. You officially are no longer a baby and both your feet are planted firmly in the world of a big girl.
This past year has been a pretty huge one for you and for us. In the year leading up to your fifth birthday a lot happened - our family grew and you became an amazing big sister, you finished your last year of preschool, and, I swear, you grew two feet taller.

When you first met Brenna, the tiny person who bestowed you with the title of big sister, you did so with excitement, a bit of trepidation, and a ton of sweetness.

You have embraced your role of big sister with an amazing amount of grace, tenderness and enthusiasm. Brenna giggles and giggles for you, she is constantly looking for you and listening for your voice. Your version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is by and far her favorite. Occasionally you struggled sharing the spotlight, or my lap, but generally you've shown us what an amazingly kind and thoughtful little girl you've become - you love to soothe your sister, make her laugh and play with her on the floor.
This was your last year at preschool - how is that possible? You went to school three days a week, were part of the Frogs class and loved every second of school. On the days that you didn't have school you asked when you would be going back and you diligently did your "homework". You formed wonderful friendships at school and learned so much. At dinner you often told Dad and I about all the things you learned: fire safety, presidents, hibernation. We were also treated to dozens of new songs, that were sung frequently and loudly, often with your own spins to them. You loved learning, adored your teacher, Miss Cathy, and constantly had stories to share about your friends. On your graduation day you were so proud of yourself - and so were we.
It seemed like this year you endlessly grew - you got taller, smarter, older. Your vocabulary is astounding and you use words that are well beyond your years. You continue to love to be read to and try to read by yourself all the time. Right before you turned five you insisted that we start reading chapter books at night, the first two you chose were The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Charlie Factory. While your vocabulary is amazing, you remind us that you are still growing by often confusing words and misspeaking - saying you did an "octopus course" instead of an obstacle course or that you had your "pace fainted" instead of face painted. There are occasional sounds that you still struggle with, mostly the -th sound, which also reminds us that you are not as old as you pretend to be. And no matter how many times you are corrected, the -eds are a part of the way you talk: knowed, sawed, goed. I don't work that hard to correct your misspeaks, as I find them adorable and know that they are fleeting.
In the year that you turned five you tried all sorts of new things - you took dance all year long and gave us a performance of a lifetime in April. You loved everything about dance : the music, the movement, your teacher, new friends, ballet slippers, and most of all, tutus. But while dance highlighted your girly, fancy side, t-ball brought out your inner athlete. You played on a team of all boys and quickly embraced the mantra There is no crying in baseball. You were just as tough as any of the boys on your team and by the end of the season your throwing, hitting and catching improved significantly. You also fell in love with bowling and proved to us that bowing and skirts go hand in hand.

This year you seemed to endlessly grow - taller, smarter, bigger.  You developed distinct opinions about everything from books you liked, to food you disliked.  I often joke that silence is not something I ever experience.  You constantly sang silly songs, insisted on playing games, told stories.  Your inquisitive side came out in full force:  Where does wind come from?  How do cats meow? When will I loose a tooth? Why do I dream?  What's in a marshmallow?  Every day was full, FULL, of questions, to many of which I had no good answers.  You became a bit more stubborn and showed us your temper more frequently than we would have liked.  You stomped your feet, screamed and pouted a bit more than necessary, but you still were generous with snuggles and hugs.
There is nothing about you that is a baby anymore.  Your legs are long and lanky, your knees are verging on knobby.  The chub that I could see in your cheeks just last year has melted away.  You insist on long hair, painted toes and twirly dresses. 
You have grown so much, so big, so fast that I am left a bit breathless when I see you, my itty-bitty baby, swinging high into the air, running around the yard with reckless abandon, swimming underwater, curled up on the couch with a book.You love your family and friends and continue to tell most of your secrets to the cat. 
You amaze me, frustrate me, make me laugh.  I am so proud to be your mom and cannot believe that in just a few short weeks you will be climbing on to the school bus to head off to kindergarten.  While I often beg you to stop growing, I know you won't and I cannot wait to see the adventures you continue to bring us on.

I love you, sweet girl.


Mich said...

why must you always make me cry at work?

You guys have done a damn good job with that little lady - I cannot believe she is 5 already.

Colleen W said...

Love this Jess!!!

Sue said...

Oh dear, tears. What a wonderful little person you are raising!

Colleen said...

Jess - that was beautiful!!! We need to get these kiddos together next time you are home. And I would love to meet Brenna!