Monday, June 30, 2014

The Big Four Point Five

Dear Em,
This morning I peeked into your room & found you awake with your light on. You had piled & posed half of your dolls & stuffed animals on your rocking chair. You told me that you were taking family photos. I watched you in awe. It's just so amazing to me that you are mine....that you are ours, mine & Daddy's. 

I pulled you in for some snuggles & watched you beam when I told you that today you turn four and a half. That half is very important at your age. Then I asked you about some of your favorite things at this moment.

Favorite food: Olives.
Favorite thing to do: Spend time with my family.
Favorite thing to play: Barbies with Nonnie.
Outside or inside: Outside.
Favorite thing to do outside: Swing on the swings.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Unicorn Ballerina Princess.
Favorite book: Bitty Baby.
Favorite song: Let it Go.
Favorite color: Gold.
Favorite TV show: Sofia the First
Favorite movie: Frozen.

Some things have changed (oh, how the movie Frozen has taken over our lives over the past 6 months), but so many have stayed the same. I love that spending time with family is your favorite thing. I was shocked to learn that your favorite colors pink & purple have been replaced by gold. A few weeks ago, a family friend introduced you to the table of elements. You were enchanted by the sparkle & shine of gold, & that was it. You had a new favorite color & very expensive taste.

You are still a bouncy, giggly, smart, twirling, headstrong, creative, energized, bubbly, dancing, glittery, bounding, loving, imaginative, sweet, amazing little four year old (four and a half now). You have such a love of learning (I'm so thankful to this year's teachers for that). At our most recent parent teacher conference, I was in awe of the difference of your writing in just a few short months. Instead of just rainbow writing, you often your practice sounding out a word & writing the letters on your own. I'm so proud of your hard work & thrilled that you enjoy writing & sounding out letters. You're still such a little learning sponge, & your eyes sparkle when you present me your papers filled with words & pictures.

While you've always been quite verbal, we've been working on learning about how our word choices & tones matter. You're trying to understand why it's OK to call a crayon fat but not a person. You're leaning that even when the words you use are fine, a tone can completely change the meaning of your words. You're working to remember to use your "manners words." It's hard sometimes to talk to a four year old who is giving me major attitude, & we have battled it out these past six months. But I've noticed a simple, "Em, try it again" after you've said something rude or nasty is all the reminder you need to remember that words matter before trying your sentence again in a "more appropriate way" (yes, you now use the word appropriate & it's hilarious).

Physically, you're our little dare devil, ready to try things way before Daddy & I are ready for you to try them. You were gifted your bike six months ago. At first you were frustrated when you couldn't pedal perfectly, but you were determined. I can't believe how swiftly you ride now, beaming with pride when you make it up a hill all on your own.

You also started dance for the first time six months ago. All of the classes were behind closed doors, & I didn't know what to expect. We were all absolutely dazzled by your first dance recital. Although you won't be taking dance again until the winter, we still get the pleasure of seeing your arabesques & spins at home.

Swimming is another area that you've worked your body in new ways. I almost had a heart attack when I heard that you walked into the pool & swam to the ladder without a swimmer. I guess it was just your way of telling us that you were ready to start swimming on your own. You've taken swim classes over the last few weeks, & it's been so fun for me to watch you learn. You insist to your teacher that you can do things "on my own!" Although, it led to you sinking under water a few times, I was also impressed to see you, in fact, do some of the swimming on your own. I'm looking forward to continuing to practice swimming & back floats together this summer and beyond.

We celebrated your aunt Andrea's wedding in May, & you were the flower girl. Gosh, what a difference a couple years make. Sure, you shed some tears before the ceremony (you were woken from a nap, & that's never a good thing), but you pulled it together. You were the most adorable little flower girl, & I couldn't have been more proud of you. You had the maturity to know that it was Andrea's special day & it wasn't all about you. I watched people's faces light up when you were near, & loved seeing you dance the night away.

We celebrated your 4.5 birthday with your little friends last Saturday. I will enjoy recapping the party over the next few weeks, because it was totally & absolutely you- all pinks & purples & dancing & princesses & sparkles. You are the girly little girl I swore I would never raise, & yet you are the most beautiful & fierce & bright & lovable & strong girly little girl I've ever known. I guess that's what happens when you let a little girl be who she is instead of who you think she should truly get to watch her shine.

I love you so, my little 4.5 year old,

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