Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Day Our Lives Began

Dear Julia,

Today you turned five years old.  You are so excited to be five, but already you've told us you just want to stay five forever.  Trust me, sweet girl, I wish I could freeze this moment, too.

Five years ago at this time, I was sitting in the hospital room, nursing you constantly, and staring at you for hours on end.  I could not believe that you had just come out of me.  You were so perfect and so beautiful.  I watched your daddy change your first diaper and saw you try to hold your head up right from the start.  You've always been precocious.

I had never known love like I felt the moment I first saw you.  You were a surprise baby, and you were the best surprise your daddy and I have ever had.  The moment we became parents was the moment that we became a family instead of just a couple.  The bond that your birth started has just gotten stronger as we've added more siblings, but you started it all.  Before you were born, life had no real purpose; as soon as we met, I knew my purpose in life was to be the best mommy I could be and give you back all the love you make me feel.

I was so nervous when I was learning to be a mom.  I laugh now thinking about how scared I was to give you a bath, how I anguished over dressing you, and whether you were getting enough food.  Or sleep.  Or tummy time.  I must have done something right, because you are simply wonderful.

I want to remember forever that you were just like this at age five:

As a big five year old, you love to read.  You started reading small books when you were three, and now you're up to chapter books.  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is what you're reading to us at night right now, and we've decided to throw a Pooh party when you finish it.  I love that you take the time to read to your sister and brother, and books are constantly scattered around our house because you read so many of them a day!

Your favorite movies are any of the Disney Princess movies (sing-a-longs or films), Gumby: The Movie, Muzzy, and all Strawberry Shortcake films.  You watch "Yo Gabba Gabba!" with Brynn and you sing and dance together.  You also enjoy any of the shows on PBS Kids ("Dinosaur Train," "Sid the Science Kid," "Word World").

At night, you listen to The Magic Tree House books on CD, and you have about a million of them!

Playtime for you usually includes Princess figures and your toy Cinderella's Castle.  You come up with elaborate stories for them, and you shout, "Dreams come true!  Dreams come true!," just like you saw them do at Disney World.  One of your scenarios includes every character bringing a gift to the one having a birthday or getting married.  And there are hundreds of them.  You are very dedicated and will not allow us to clean up the mess until you are finished, which sometimes takes days.  Most of my time is spent trying to pick up your figures so I don't step on them.

For Christmas, you got a pink Barbie house, which is another toy getting thrown into the rotation.  You have decided to name your Ken dolls Speeder, John Handsome, and Nickel.  I've only heard one Barbie have a name, and that was Sylvia.

You play Wii games with your dad, and you both yell at the screen, though you have no idea what you're yelling or what it means--you just want to be like him.  Games are some of your favorite things.  We've played Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Pretty Pretty Princess, Tic-Tac-Toe, and more.  However, you're infamous for scattering pieces all over the house, so we rarely have all the parts we need to play!  Recently, you've started playing Scrabble with us in a modified way.  And you win, because you're definitely a better speller than we are.  Or at least better than your dad, for sure.

I keep thinking that you're growing out of the dress-up phase, but then you see Brynn dressing up and your interest is high again.  The two of you play together and fight together.  I enjoy watching you girls play your made-up games (like "Gifts" and "Princess Party") that have rules only the two of you understand.  And you love your baby brother so much, too.  You're constantly telling him, "I'm right here, buddy.  It's okay, I'm right here."  He calms down when you talk to him or rub his head.  Since he was born, you've spent hours reading him books and giving him toys.  You're such a big help to me.

When you grow up, you say you want to be a chef, a nature photographer, a veterinarian, a doctor, a teacher, a scientist, and a dancer.  You spend lots of time cooking, taking pictures, exploring, experimenting, and dancing, so I have no doubt that you could do all of those things.

You're in a phase of making up jokes, too...except that the punchline is almost always, "Because he was eating beans!!!"  And then, there's your famous one of, "Why did the flower die in the spring?  Because he wasn't a flower at all; he was candy!" might might want to work on those.  Not sure you're quite getting the concept of a joke.  And you're funny enough without trying.
You give us so much joy and make us laugh all the time. 
"Reach for the stars, but watch your head!"
"God said, 'Wake up and eat marshmallows.' And we woke up and ate them.  And it was good."
"Oh, really?  I just moved here  from Botswana!"

Pineapple pizza, celery, carrots, apples, peanut butter sandwiches, and chicken nuggets are foods I can always get you to eat. I still water down your juice, but you remind me that you don't want to drink much of it because it has sugar...though you don't seem to mind sugar in the form of candy or cake.

You're a wonderful artist, and your various drawings (especially of rainbows) cover our fridge, art display board, and walls.

I want to remember you as you are at this moment, but I am also excited to watch you grow and accomplish all the things I know you will.  You are kind, funny, thoughtful, compassionate, creative, and determined.  You are the most precious five year old I know.

When all this ice and snow melts, we'll have a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party for you on Sunday, and everyone there will love you and tell you that these five years with us has been the best five years of their lives, just like they have been for your daddy and me.  May you have many, many more years of living life to the fullest.  I am proud to have given birth to you, and I will spend my life in awe of all that you are.

I love you more than you'll ever know.



  1. How touching. I'm sure Julia will cherish this so much one day.

  2. I love the "reach for the stars but watch your head." Words to live by.

  3. This makes me want to cry. I barely know that girl and I love her to pieces!

  4. This made me tear up...a...LOT.
    So beautiful. You need to keep that safe for when she's older ;)