Let me begin by saying, how did we get here?
This morning we woke up and you were officially five years old. Holy smokes!
They say that some children come to their mothers with a deep intention to change them in ways that at the time seem impossible, but later upon reflection are profound.
You, for me are that child.
We couldn't be more different really, you and I...you with your blond hair and petite, sweet little smile and frame.
You who inhabits her body so completely and fully that I'm often exhausted and overcome by the boundless energy, purpose, determination and sheer tour de force that you bring to brushing your teeth and putting on a pair of snow boots.
You with your love of song...any melody...a myriad of tunes...constantly singing, continually moving your arms, legs, fingers and toes to the beat of well, your own deal.
I think you were the lucky one...the third in the row of ducklings...the youngest...but definitively, no longer the baby. And you'll forgive me when I say that your birth order has imbued you with a gorgeous, raging, truly stunning, "I could give two shits" attitude about fear or what others think of you or what a "little girl" should or should not do.
"Hell yes" seems to be your mantra all wrapped up in a princess dress, a tiara, a crown, mismatched leg warmers, a preferred commando get-up and a staunch belief that macaroni and cheese should undoubtedly be the only meal of choice.
You are loud and brash and strong and tough and you don't. ever. let. up. when by God damn it. you want. it. And, I'm not going to lie, it kills me. Like boiling over the top makes me want to throw that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese cardboard box right in your direction. But then, I see you working it out in your mind. It makes perfect sense to you. So, why not fight for it? And for that, I give you props and I pray that you never lose your chops or your nerve or your edge. In so many ways, I want to be you when I grow up.
And this is it for us, Claire Bear. Our last year home together, just you and me. Next year, you will be in kindergarten full-time and I will cry. I'm sure of it. I'm also confident in the fact that you will not. You are ready. Born ready to tackle the unfair world and to bring it to its' knees with your big heart, your tireless love, your cup so incredibly full and your belief that everything is possible if you just want it badly enough.
So shine on, my five-year old. Make this an incredible year as I know you will. We couldn't be more proud or grateful to have received the gift of you for another day, another year, another season to learn...even if it taxes the shit out of us...what it means to live your life, all five years of it with gusto and glory.
All my love,