Six Years and Counting

Dear Maddie,

Congrats, darling!  It’s your sixth birthday, and while I know your festivities have been a little spread out this year, and your sister being sick has sort of complicated the focus of your day, I do want you to know that we’re really excited to able to celebrate, in however limited a fashion, with you.

You spent the morning of your birthday reading to your sister.  However, I believe this was your idea, so I don't really feel too bad.

You spent the morning of your birthday reading to your sister. However, I believe this was your idea, so I don’t really feel too bad.

So, last year, I was all milestones and favorite things and largely blah-blah-blah-you’re-going-to-Kindergarten cakes.  This year, I had planned to switch it up a little bit and write you a letter composed of six things I hoped you learned from life.  But…  The closer I got to actually trying to write that particular letter, the dumber and dumber it seemed.  First I don’t want or mean to imply that you’re the kind of kid who needs to be “taught life lessons.”  Aside from your penchant for letting your mouth run, you’re a pretty good, considerate girl–or at least no less good and considerate than other kids your age.  Secondly, I feel that life lessons are probably better learned from life, not from a birthday message written by your often overly-wordy mother.  I could write out a long list of things I hope you find in life, or I could try just to show you what I think is important in life, and I have a feeling that will be much more effective than a blog entry you may or may not ever read.

All smiles after the fact, but while they were actually singing, I think your face was literally completely expressionless.  Which is something I don't think I've actually ever seen before...

All smiles after the fact, but while they were actually singing, I think your face was literally completely expressionless. Which is something I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen before…

What I will say, and what we’ve talked about a lot lately, is that I hope you continue to try new things.  This last year has been so full of new experiences for you, and while you haven’t always faced them willingly, you’ve faced them.  In general, I think all of this “new” has been good for you–it’s made you stronger and more confident (although still not able to face up to a sombrero and a half dozen servers singing “Happy Birthday” to you–your face in that video–so amazing!), and I hope you will continue to push yourself through new situations, uncomfortable as they may at first be, in the hopes of finding something new that you didn’t know you could enjoy.  (This goes for math, too, dearest.)  You have the capacity, I feel, to get as much out of life as you’re willing to receive, which is not something that can be said of everyone, and my wish is that you’ll take full advantage of this, just experience life and explore everything.  There’s a big world out there, and I hope it’s ready for you.

Happy birthday, darling.  You’ve given us an amazing six years, and you’ve got us standing on tip-toe trying to get a sneak peek at what’s to come.

Love always, and always, and always,

Mommy