We’ve got a new six year old in the house. As always on her birthday (and as always, a bit late!), I’m writing a few memories and posting a few photos to document this journey.
SIX. I can’t believe it. Just writing that makes me sad…only because I’m nostalgic and I want to slow down how fast everything seems to be moving. In the last year you finished preschool and started Kindergarten. It feels like yesterday that I was tying up your red gingham uniform and trying to make two perfect pigtail braids for the first day of school, and now you only have 3 weeks left.
You are a genuinely happy, warm, kind soul who dances through life with a sense of joy and wonder. You are funny and love to laugh. You are still obsessed with your cousins. Just like your parents, you hate to get up in the morning. You love to cook. You are very creative and an excellent museum companion, which of course makes your art historian mom so very happy. Some of my favorite moments with you are walking down the ramp at the Guggenheim or listening to your observations in the Met. The fact that these are just a few blocks from your school makes you one lucky kiddo. You love to build things, especially with magnatiles, and every week, you bring home the most wonderful drawings, books, and creations made of tape and cleverly cut construction paper. When we traveled in Europe this summer, your favorite thing was to head outside after dinner with your sketchbook and colored pencils and carefully draw the neighborhood or landscape.
You remain fearless, adventurous, and brave. When faced with taking the school bus by yourself during the first week of kindergarten, you couldn’t wait. You love to try new things and explore new places, and you do so through a rosy lens. When we landed in Edinburgh last June, you peeked out of your little airplane window at the gray tarmac and declared “Scotland is soooo beautiful!” On the same trip, you excitedly went straight to the top of the Eiffel Tower with your dad. This year, I instituted a “surprise date” where we go to a new place in the city and have some mom/daughter time. You are giddy with excitement about these adventures, which have so far led us to the top of the Freedom Tower and to the Marionette Theater.
You have a huge heart and are wise beyond your years. You often see me get very frustrated and upset with your sister, and you are empathetic to me by giving me hugs and telling me to take a deep breath. The other day you looked at me and said “I’m sorry- I know parenting is hard.” You are very tolerant and patient with your little sister, even when she pulls your hair and delays every departure from the house with a tantrum and screaming. You often just cover your ears and shake your head, then help to get her out the door. You let her push the button in the elevator, you watch shows that you think are boring because you know it will keep the peace, and you’ve given up on me ever tucking you in at night as I lay on your sister’s floor to get her to sleep. I appreciate your help and understanding more than you know. Your teachers tell us that your kindness extends to school, as you are “quick to include others in play and help anyone in need,” which makes us so proud.
You had an amazing year with so much growth. You wiggled your first loose tooth all through our European adventure and on the morning of our return, you noticed that it was gone and had swallowed it in your sleep! You’ve since had many visits from the tooth fairy and have grown in many of your adult teeth. Your blonde locks got much darker this year, and you love to wear them in a braid. In the fall you learned how to write in lowercase letters, which was a game changer in learning how to read. Watching each storybook come alive to you as you decoded words over the past year has been so exciting to witness. The other night you read me your entire library book. I’m one proud mama.
We learned in the fall that you had grown THREE inches in five months–no wonder you were having hip pain–and overall ended up shooting up five inches total in the last year. Your legs continue to grow at a rapid rate (frightening to your 5′ 4″ mom) and you used them all year to dolphin kick in the pool, step and kick in your new Irish Dance class, and to march and glide across Wollman Rink as you learned to skate this winter in the shadow of The Plaza. I love your determination to learn new things, whether subtraction, skating, or golf, even when some of these new skills are acquired with some frustration and tears.
You emit joy. When you get off of the bus every afternoon, you have a huge smile on your face and are quick with a deep hug. When I ask you what your favorite thing was at school that day, you often say “everything!” You are very social and your dad and I jokingly call you “the mayor”, because pick up from school is often delayed as you hug every faculty member in our path and then say goodbye to any and every child that you see with a hug or an excited wave–even the big fifth graders that you know from the bus. I never tire of seeing your exuberance for every part of your life (except getting up in the morning).
You’ve shown so much maturity this spring as our family prepared to add one more member. You even helped me push the stroller when I was hugely pregnant, and your kindness has continued since we brought your brother home from the hospital. Some recent nights you have had to put yourself to bed as we are outnumbered and you are so understanding about it. I can’t wait to see what great qualities you will model and skills you will teach your newest sibling.
I love you and feel really lucky to be your mom. Happiest of sixth birthdays and here’s to another wonderful trip around the sun.
Past Birthday Reflections: