Gabbie’s 5! (And We’ve All Survived…)

To my dearest, most irrepressible Gabs,

Raise one hand high, darling, and spread out all of your fingers.  For the next year, that’s how easy it’s going to be to tell people how old  you are (if,  you know, you don’t want to talk, which you seem more inclined to do than your sister was at your age, or still for that matter).  No more trying to cross one finger over another, trying to figure out which of the seemingly endless ways to make three is easier for you.  Put your hand up and let it stay there.*  Five.  FIVE.  Damn.  It seems that a small part of me really did in fact believe that you might never grow up.

Face painting at Louisburg Cider Mill

At this point, you don’t seem to completely hate hand-me-downs yet (which, thank you for being cool about that), so while it may not be terribly original, I’m going to recycle and write you exactly the same type of 5th birthday letter I wrote Maddie–my five, most favorite things about you:

  1. Your smile.  Your smile lights up the room, baby girl.  Now yes, that’s cliche and people say it a lot, but yours really, truly does.  When you smile at me, I almost always smile back, which is why you get away with a lot of the grade A crap your sister never did.  It’s both charming and a very handy secret weapon, depending on how you choose to wield it.  Seeing your eyes light, that grin bringing your dimple into play–pure love.
  2. Your comedic timing and wit.  Most kids are funny, but most of them don’t necessarily intend to be.  You, on the other hand, have a fantastic sense of humor, and your wit is sharp.  I will never forget the time I was railing at you that you were a big girl and big girls sleep in their own beds, when are you going to learn to do that, and without missing a beat, you looked right at me, smirked and said, “You don’t.”  Well played, offspring.  You logic’d me.

    She did this to herself and was so proud of how silly it was. That is, until we told her she had to put her shoes on to go to dinner…


  3. Your snuggability.  First, that’s a word.  Don’t believe the haters.  Second, I’m sure you’ve heard this a time or two before, but your sister has never been what one would term “small.”  Nor has she been “still,” so the point at which she was tiny and snuggly passed ridiculously quickly.  You, on the other hand, are a stick with arms and legs.  You can’t keep leggings, LEGGINGS!, up because you have no butt, but this makes you a perfect little snuggle-monkey.  (It also means we still carry you around waaaaay too much, and we’ve really got to stop doing that, but dammit, you’re so snuggly!)  You wrap your little arms around our necks, and we give in to whatever your little heart desires, be it more snuggles at bedtime, one more episode of My Little Pony, or a piggy-back ride up the stairs.  Basically, you’re really snuggly but horrendously spoiled is what I’m saying.
  4. Your determination.  Okay, to be perfectly honest, on the day-to-day, I don’t love this.  You, dear friend, are quite frequently a completely stubborn pain in my ass, but–and this is what I try to constantly remind myself as you’re refusing to brush your teeth until after breakfast even though it will mean another trip upstairs or refusing to try even one bite of something on your plate and instead opting not to have dessert–lady friend, you keep this up, and you’re going to get exactly what you want out of life.  You keep telling people what you will and won’t do.  Keep refusing to do anything but you.  I’m not saying don’t compromise, if it’s worth it, but this hard-headed streak will serve you well, I’m almost certain.
  5. The fact that you finally learned to appreciate the complete and utter glory that is the cheeseburger.  I was, for quite some time, legit worried that you would never understand this, the most perfect of foods, and darlin’-face?  That might have been a deal-breaker.

Cider donuts at Louisburg Cider Mill

Welcome to the world of the big kids, my baby.  You have dragged your mother, kicking and screaming (often AT you, but still**) out of the land of the littles and into the realm of “We have two kids.”  You challenge me, frustrate me, exhaust me, and complete me.  I’m honestly really glad you were born in March, because as hard as it is get your dad to even considering scheduling your birthday party during March Madness, if you were running off to kindergarten the minute (or even before) you turned five like your Dee-dee, I don’t think my heart could take it.  We all love you so very much, every single part of many-faceted you, and I can’t imagine a world without you in it.

Happy birthday, love!  You really even do look a little bit bigger.***  😉


Love always, always, always,



*This is a very paraphrased, white-girl version of a DJ Khaled lyric, future-Gabbie.  Proof that your mom was never hip–it’s not a recent development.  <Mumbles that she had to Google it because she thought it was Kayne…>

**The screaming, not the kicking.  Obviously.

***As I hugged you at bedtime tonight, because I’m writing this the day before, you asked me how much bigger you’d be in the morning.  I told you you wouldn’t be any bigger, but I may have lied.  Perhaps you are.