Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Emily!

Dear Emily,

Happy Birthday, sweet girl. You turn six today and you are so excited about this.  You have been counting down to this day for quite awhile and are eager to embrace your new, older age.  But me, I am ready for you to slow down a little.  The rate at which you seem to be learning, and growing, and just plain becoming takes my breath away.

This past year has brought a lot of change your way. The two most notable and easiest to identify switches are that we moved from Pittsburgh to Grand Rapids and you began going to kindergarten at Ada Christian. I worried a lot about how you would handle these shifts, as you were pretty shy a year ago. But oh, how you have flourished! No longer timid and insecure, you make friends so easily. Your teacher even describes you as one of the friendliest kids in your class! And while leaving behind one set of grandparents and a church that you loved was difficult, you handled it all with grace and aplomb.  Much better than I did, that's for sure!

 During the last several months, you took part in soccer (you were more interested in deciding which team had the prettiest shirts than the score on the field), started ballet lessons (you long to be Clara in the Nutcracker production someday), and made several new friends (who you want to have play dates with every. single. day.).  You learned to read almost any book I give you, and to understand a lot about addition and subtraction.  You love to ask me to give you "plus and minus" questions.  You memorized an entire psalm, learned to ride a bike without training wheels, and will finally jump into the pool without being tormented by the fact that the water is touching your face.

Emily, you bring your dad and I so much joy.  We love the way your face lights up when you figure something out, or after you told a joke, or when we tell you something exciting.  We love the gentle way that you look out for Sophie, teaching her and guiding her (and very rarely antagonizing her).  We love how curious you are, always stopping us when we are reading if you don't recognize or know the meaning of a word.  You think and question and observe, and are just soaking it all in right now.  We love how much you love Jesus, how quick you are to remind us that He's always with us, no matter where we go.  We love that you are sensitive, and can barely get through a Disney movie without tearing up.  We love that you are an encourager, quick to lift others up when they are struggling.  In short, my dear girl, we love you so very much and are thankful beyond words for your presence in our lives.

I hope six is all that you imagine it will be.