Today is my oldest daughters 4th birthday. She is our first baby. Every year I write her a special card and put it in a box for her. On her 18th birthday, I will give them to her to read. Here is the one I wrote this year:
Four years ago on the first day of Spring, you came charging into this world. From that day on our world bloomed with new life, love, and light. From the very first time I laid eyes on you, it was love. A total, all-consuming love. One that I was not prepared for, but one that I would not trade for anything in the entire universe.
On this, your fourth trip around the sun, your entire world has changed. You went from being our only child, our first and only priority, to being one of two. When you welcomed your new little sister with open arms and the biggest smile, it was all a mom could ask for. You have made it a joy to have two little girls. Even with everything your sister has been going through you never complain, you never ask why. You just watch and wait.
First, I want you to know, I am sorry. This year has not brought you my best. I am sorry that I have not been able to give you the attention you deserve. I will strive to do better. When you ask to play I will remember how fast you are growing and changing. I know the tea parties, princesses, and play doh will all too soon be gone. As moms we can only try to do better, there is no guarantee. I will struggle, but you remind me to slow down with every hug. Every “I love you mommy!” warms my heart. I know I get more of those than I deserve. Please continue to be patient. As your sister grows it will become easier. I promise. Things will even out.
You are only 4 years old and you are wise beyond your years. When I am having a tough day, you give me the best bear hugs in the world. When your sister is having a hard moment, not feeling well, you sit next to her and sing. All you need to do is sit and hold her hand. She hears your voice and calms. I have never seen anything like it. You are her calm, happy place. Your dad and I are so lucky.
If there is ever a time we need a giggle or smile we come to you. That is a weight for a 4-year-old but you handle it with grace and humor. You know how to make the world light up. Whether it is breaking into a funny song, a strangely perfectly choreographed dance, or roaring like a lion, we smile and we laugh so hard our tummies hurt!
I especially love your stories. One of my favorite things in this world is to listen to you tell stories. I love that you sing with every ounce of your body. Watching you in my review mirror is the best gift a mom could ask for. You brighten our day, every day. You are the sunshine in my pocket.
Every day I am stunned by how smart you are. The concepts you understand are wonderful. You will never have to doubt your capabilities. If you do I will be there to remind you of your worth.
You are observant. You hear EVERYTHING. Nothing gets past you. Finally, you have such an incredible memory. This can be good for a parent and bad. You remember each hug and park visit, but you also remember each disappointment. Please know we are trying our best. You are a wonderful challenge.
When I look at you during your challenging times I see me. I see the stubbornness and strength of character I have passed onto you. This character is passed down from generations of strong women in your line. Take it, make it your own. Know that we are all standing behind you. It can be a burden but we will teach you how to harness it. We cannot wait to see the amazing things you will accomplish.
Most of all, this light you have will bring you joy. It will bring you to the top of mountains. When you reach them your dad, sister and I will be there waiting and cheering you on. Dream big my sweet girl, we love you.
What special traditions do you have with your children on their birthdays?
Kristin – Mommy to the best girl in the world!
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