Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy 4th birthday, Evalee Ann

Dear Evalee,

You are finally four years old. I say finally because you've been anticipating this birthday for months, often reminding me that you were "three now, but soon four". So, I can't say as though I was surprised to find the date on the calendar. Still, however, I am beginning to be amazed by how quickly you are turning into a wonderful, smart, thoughtful, beautiful little person. You are so creative and intuitive; I know you are going to move mountains one day.

On this, your fourth birthday, baby girl, I will try my best to once again paint a picture of who you are. I hope you look back on these words one day when you are grown and find the roots of the woman you've become starting here in these days.

You are such a fantastic big sister. Izzy looks up to your face each day, big eyes full of wonder, and you always respond to them with kindness and, usually, patience. You are her hero, and you are always looking out for her. Before Izzy was born, I privately asked myself how I could ever love another child as much as I love you, but now I see how I get to love you in all new ways when I see how much the two of you love one another. When you are working on something together or teaming up to bring down your father in a tickle war, I can actually feel my heart swell with joy at the sound of your shrieks of  collaborative laughter.

You are so smart. I amazed by the amount of information you are starting to understand. You have a genuine interest in learning, which I know is something that is found inside you and has nothing to do with us. You're starting to figure out how letter sounds come together to form words, but your colossal memory gets in your way from really figuring out how phonics work. You have entire books memorized, and I love so much when you decide to take over when we read books each night. You love to point out patterns you see when we are out and about, and you're getting pretty good at addition and subtraction when you're in the mood for it.

You are the pickiest eater in the world. Seriously. Your father and I have had serious conversations where we speculate as to how you have enough nutrition to get yourself through the day. Unless the menu is pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, or Spaghettios, (all of which your sister hates) I'm lucky if I can get you to take 5 bites of a meal set before you. Needless to say, this is a character trait I'd be happy to see you lose in the coming years.

You love to pick out your clothes. We usually let you go with whatever you're feeling for the day, and that usually involves a Bears jersey, a TMNT tee-shirt, or a shirt with an animal doing something funny on it, if you can find them clean. Just yesterday you went with red yoga pants and a bright blue Toy Story tee shirt with your Tangled princess dress over it, a cape fastened around your neck, and sparkly silver shoes. We negotiated you out of the cape to run errands, but you pull the rest of it off through a couple of stops we had to make. Your blonde hair is now almost to your butt,  but you sure hate to have it brushed or styled in any way. So on most days it is wild and free, just like you.

You are funny. You love to make jokes or to sing songs and change the lyrics trying to make us laugh. Most of the time, though, you crack me up with these statements you make that come so far out of left field that most of the humor in the joke is in trying to figure out where it came from. This is a trait I hope you hold onto forever.

You have the oddest collection of interests, and I love that you don't conform to any sort of gender stereotype. On some days, you are dressing up like a Princess and hugging dolls. On other days, you are Ironman driving your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Raiser around the living room. You love nail polish and dinosaurs and ponies and monsters. You wear fairy wings and football jerseys.

You are kind. When you hurt someone, no one needs to tell you to apologize - you do it without prompting. You use your manners when asking for things, and you usually say "excuse me" when you are trying to get by people in a public place. You share your toys and snacks with other kids. You take turns. You scoot over to make room for your sister when she wants to share a seat with you.  You like to set the table for me at dinner time and help put the wet clothes in the dryer. You like to draw pictures for people when you know you will be seeing them soon. When you find change to put in your piggy bank, you offer your sister a few coins for her to put in her bank too. Even though these are such small things, I see you make these choices and I know you will have a giving heart all throughout your life.

Similarly, you love to meet new people. Every time we go somewhere for you to play, you never hesitate to strike up conversation with other kids and ask them to play with you.

You do not value sleep. Nap time is still an essential part of a harmonious day (and evening), but it involves lots of convincing each day. On Friday nights, we let you stay up well past your bedtime as we play cards or watch movies at Grandma and Papa's house, and you've never struggled to stay awake. You are up each day before your sister and father (and mother, on the weekends) and ready to start the day about 4 seconds after you open your eyes. You are never without energy, and I am ever envious of this.

You and your sister are our entire world, Evalee Ann. Thank you so much for making smile every day for the last four years of my life. Each day you grow and become a more precise version of you, and each time this happens I find new ways to love you even more than I did the day before.

Happy fourth birthday.

1 comment:

  1. She will look back on this someday and love knowing how much her Mama cares. Perfectly said Sara. I envy your ability to express your feeling in words.