A Letter To My Daughter On Her 5th Birthday
The day is finally here. You're FIVE!!!
It's not Thirteen. Sixteen. Twenty-one.
But Five. It seems so... so BIG! A birthday of 5 means you are officially a big girl! You’re growing up & doing things on your own (almost, because you still won’t sleep in your own bed yet).
Five means you're still a child, but yet you're so independent.
You put on your own clothes. You get your own drink from the refrigerator. You play by yourself sometimes. And you always say ”I can do it by myself, mommy!”
You feel less like my baby and more like my girl.
Maybe it's because you're my only child, but 5 feels so wonderful and bittersweet. In short five years, we have done so much. So many life changes. From hospital stays, to family vacations, to many other adjustments. We made it work!
You have grown so much and made me so proud, yet you, daughter; you have forced me to grow. To make you proud. When I feel defeated and overwhelmed with life, there you are, a sturdy and resilient little trooper reminding me that there are so many beautiful small things in life that truly are BIG things. You remind me to stop and smell the roses. You remind me to bask in what is and to stop worrying about what is not.
Every moment of your childhood, from the good to the bad, I have cherished the opportunity to be your mom. To have someone to call "my daughter."
You are 5 and you are brave, independent, stubborn, strong-willed, loving, selective, warm, careful, bossy, difficult, easy, cuddly, and tough all in one. You are like me and like your dad, but you are not like me and you are not like your dad.
You are perfectly you.
As you grow, your roots become stronger. You become more defined. More yourself. More beautifully you.
Every day I ask God to help me make you the best you. That I parent the child I have, not the one I think you should be. And as I help you become the best you, you make me a better me.
Barbies. Cooking. Coloring. Painting. Dancing. Singing. Imaginary play.
Your 5-year-old world is so wonderful, I never want to leave. I just want time to stop this very second. To pause long enough for me to remember every little thing you said and every little thing that you did.
While you find out who you are, I think about who I was. The bigger you get, the more I sometimes see of the little me. I want to reach out to little me and give her a hug. I remind myself that little me grew into a slightly larger version of bigger me, except for with more doubts, fears, and pain.
And I want so much to lift you up into the light and teach you to embrace every single thing about you that makes you you, from the good to the bad. To not let too much weight or opinions of others weigh you down like it did for me.
Soon, there will be people old and young in your world that I won't quite know. Strangers that are out of reach. Life will feel less safe and scarier. I will hold my breath and hope more. I will hope the world is kind to you when my eyes are not on you. Your spirit is so gentle and I want to protect you forever.
But I know you will make me proud. I know you will shine.
This is life at 5. And I wouldn't stop it for the world, but I sure wouldn't mind pausing it. You’re just growing up. It’s happening so fast. I’m so proud to be your mom and I look forward to seeing what the next year brings for you.
Happy birthday sweet daughter!
I love you without limits,
Your proud mother