5 years old… I hope it’s your best birthday yet, sweet girl. 4 was a big year for you. You learned so much in preschool this year. You’ve gotten so good at writing your letters and words. You love counting and numbers and I suspect you’re going to be good at math. And your ability to draw objects from memory amazes me. When you announce you’re going to draw a bird, you just draw a bird and it really LOOKS like a bird, and that’s that. I love that you simply put crayon to paper without hesitation or intimidation. And then there’s your love of music, which takes you into your own little world. Daddy and I smile so big when we hear you belt out “The Hills are Alive”—vibrato and everything—while you take a bath. You really can sing, kid. May you always, always have confidence in your creative abilities!
And your people. Oh, you love your people. I think the highlight of your week is Sunday morning at church, just before the service starts. You eagerly ask me to help you find people you know and then you run to them with open arms. You are so comfortable with adults and you have a lot of wonderful ones investing in you-- and I am so grateful. You love your friends and teachers and your day just isn’t complete without hugs from ALL of them. Always straightforward with your words, you boldly tell your friends about God and Jesus and Heaven. You even led your class in prayer, all on your own. In a world that seems to be especially dark lately, you shine light. Daddy and I are so proud.
Your biggest moment of age 4? Hands down, becoming a big sister, your dream come true. You were devastated when we told you it was a boy, but eventually you came around. I’ve learned that if there’s one thing you need, it’s time. You need time to analyze, time to process, time to be ok with new experiences and surroundings. You simply don’t accept things at face value or give in to those around you until you are ready—that’s a trait that can serve you well in life, by the way. It’s good that my pregnancy with Ryan lasted 9 months, because that’s how long you needed to prepare. You truly love your brother and are a great big sister, always adoring him and trying to make him smile. I know not getting all the attention anymore is hard, and I don’t blame you for being jealous at times. Daddy and I are doing our best to carve out special moments with you because you are so important to us. Hang in there, love. As I tell you often, growing up is hard work but we’re all in this together. You, me, Daddy, Ryan—we’re all on the same team.
Speaking of teams… could you be any more competitive? EVERYTHING is a contest to you. Early in your 4th year we realized you weren’t exactly a gracious loser but we’ve worked hard on that and you’ve come a long way. You, Daddy, and I are always up for a game of catch and as simple as it is, throwing a ball is one of my favorite things we do together. I’m anxious to see where your competitive spirit and strong determination take you.
We love you, Kate. We love who you are and who you are becoming and every single day—good or bad—is a treasured part of this blessed adventure with you. Happy 5th birthday!