I feel like you were born, I blinked, & you turned five. How are you five...years...old?! "Mom, I'm a whole hand," you've proudly proclaimed as you held up your five fingers.
We were in North Carolina for your birthday this year. The night before, Nonnie put you to bed, but I stole as many last four year old hugs & kisses as I could before you went to sleep. I snuck into your room later that night & peeked in on you sleeping soundly. I gave you a kiss on your forehead, knowing that time goes by at an ever quickening speed, & my nights of kissing your sleeping forehead are numbered (although you've promised Daddy & I can go to college with you & that we will live together forever).
These have been the five most wonderful years of our lives. For sure, the fours were a little less challenging than the tantruming threes (there are still tantrums, they're just fewer & further between)- both because you're beginning to better understand boundaries & you're becoming a little more independent each and every day. You now completely dress yourself, put your socks & shoes on, brush & floss your teeth, & put on & zip up your coat each morning before heading off to school (although you still need someone to guide you through all of the steps).
You're a little learning sponge. Daddy & I are so amazed by the leaps & bounds you've taken with reading & writing & drawing. The other day you sat down & made me a Valentine's Day card (which you solemnly said would have to be kept secret until Valentine's Day but then couldn't wait any longer & shared with me the next day). Tears filled my eyes as I looked at the hearts you had drawn yourself. You put words to your card, writing each letter yourself, only asking for help here & there with the spelling.
You are so full of life. While you have such a serious little face when you're trying to concentrate, mostly you're full of smiles & giggles. You love to sing & dance & pretend. Daddy & I laugh as we listen to your little voice singing in the backseat of the car to all of the songs on the radio (Taylor Swift is by far your favorite right now). You noisily bound into life. I don't know if being gentle or soft or calm will ever be things that you learn, but we love you in spite of it & for it.
I think your imagination is one of my favorite things about you right now. In no time, you transform us into whole new worlds. You have a list of accents you perform when you're playing pretend (which absolutely amazes me, because I can't do an accent to save my life). You do almost everything with a baby doll in your hand, & I have to wonder if you will work with children someday and/or have tons of kids (I think you plan to have at least 14 right now).
A little more about you at five years old:
Favorite food: Cake
Favorite thing to do: Play Dolls
Favorite thing to play: Wii Party
Outside or inside: Inside (It's been really cold)
Favorite thing to do outside: Play on the Playground
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Princess Ballerina
Favorite book: Ramona books
Favorite song: Shake it Off by Taylor Swift
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite TV show: Sofia the First
Favorite movie: Frozen
We had so many fun-filled birthday celebrations. When Aunt Andrea visited, we spent a night just celebrating you. We included many of your favorite things & had a pajama, Tayor Swift, Taco, Tea Party. You helped me set up by putting out the "fancy dishes from China," & we filled a pitcher with pink lemonade. After dinner we played Hot Potato & Hullabaloo before opening gifts. It was such a fun & precious night celebrating with family that loves you so dearly. While you have always been happy to celebrate you on any day of the week, you were very adamant that you would not be five until you celebrated your "real birthday."
Nonnie had another tea party planned for when we got to North Carolina. She invited Elsa & some of your North Carolina friends over for a Frozen themed tea party. You dressed up, ate yummy snacks, played, & sang all of the songs from Frozen. You were certainly in your element.
On the morning of your "real birthday," you woke up & climbed into bed with Daddy & I so we could get our very first five year old snuggles. It was then we let you open your gift from us. One of your very favorite stories that you like to listen to is the story of how you were born & what you were like as a baby. I tell you again & again by memory, but I knew putting the story into words would be a special gift for you. So, this fall I worked on writing my second book (this was my first), "The Great Adventures of Emma the Princess Ballerina." It chronicles the first five years of your growth & adventures. You were thrilled to open a book all about you. It was such a precious moment to snuggle in with you, read about you, & look through all the pictures from the last five years. I think it was my favorite thing we did all that day.
We were just getting started. We headed to the Children's Museum with Nonnie, Papi, & your little friend M. I just love the Children's Museum in Wilmington. There are so many fun things for all of us to do & create.
Although, Daddy & I had made it through five years of parenting without stepping foot in a Chuck E Cheeses, that reign came to an end on the day of your birthday. You had seen commercials, & going to Chuck E Cheeses was your number one birthday wish. We ate pizzas & salads while the Chuck E Cheese Band serenaded us. Then we played lots of games. Aunt Jennie & Uncle Nick joined us, & everyone had fun.
We ended the day with cake & presents with my whole family.
We came home to Rhode Island, & you couldn't wait to celebrate your fiveness with your little friends at school. We brought in a Ballerina Donut cake from Allie's Donuts, you donned a cute, pink, paper crown, & your little friends sang Happy Birthday to you. You told us it was the best day.
Thank you, my love, for the past five most amazing years of my life. In the words of your book, "Her Mommy & Daddy felt like they had just brought their squishy, little baby Emma home from the hospital. Yet, here was this bouncy, giggly, bright, twirling, fierce, creative, energized, bubbly, dancing, unique, glittery, bounding, loving, imaginative, sweet, girly, amazing five year old young lady. Just like that, the Princess Ballerina turned five. FIVE! She did not know where her adventures would take her in the future, but anyone who knew her knew that her future couldn't be anything less than absolutely, stunningly amazing...just...like...Emma."
I love you so,