Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grace: Five Years Old


One afternoon last week when I picked you up from school your teacher approached me to inform me that you had lost your play time privileges for that day because you were talking out of turn to some of your friends. And even though I did take a moment to gently remind you that it's important to listen when it's listening time and to be respectful of your teacher, inside I was smiling. I was smiling because I considered this a step in the right direction--you used to be the child who was so shy that I would have to beg you to talk to others. Now you've come out of your shell so much that sometimes you have to be reminded that it's not appropriate to talk ALL the time. I know you were worried that I would be mad at you for getting in trouble at school, but the opposite is true. I'm happy that you're finally coming out of your shell and showing the world what I have known for five years--that you are the most special, wonderful little girl. And to commemorate the first time you got in trouble at school, I took you out for ice cream.

Today you turn five years old, and when I think about how quickly these five years have passed, it takes my breath away. Also taking my breath away is the realization of how much you have grown up over the past year. You've become far more independent--in fact, you love to show us how you are able to do all kinds of things on your own and it seems that you are learning how to do more stuff every day. You're so smart--you love to sound out words and figure them out and if I let you, I have a feeling that you would spend hours just writing and writing. And, you shocked me recently by tearing off a piece of a napkin and telling me it looked like a trapezoid. A trapezoid!! I had to take a minute to remember my geometry so I could keep up with you...

Your imagination seems to grow day by day, as well. You love to tell the most magnificent stories, weaving together little pieces of your experiences and making sure you include your favorite people in your cast of characters. Sometimes, when you don't know I'm listening, I'll catch you making up little songs about all sorts of things and singing them to yourself and I'll chuckle to myself over how creative and imaginative you are. And, you're a little sponge, sopping up and retaining information as quickly as you can, and your constant hunger for more and more knowledge is so impressive to me. You're always anxious to practice the new things you're learning and you love to display your many new talents--the newest of which is baton twirling!

Something really big happened in your life this year--you became a big sister. Harrison came barreling into your world, monopolizing your mama's time and keeping you awake most nights with his crying. And not only have you taken this huge transition in stride, but you have accepted your new brother with eager and open arms. You have even gone so far as to put in an order for yet ANOTHER sibling because you like being a big sister so much. I hope that you are able to read this when you are a grown up and have children of your own, because then you will be able to appreciate as much as I do now how wonderful and helpful it is to have an oldest child who can handle so gracefully the difficult changes that a new sibling brings. Many kids have a really hard time when a younger sibling comes into their lives--they regress, they hate their new brother or sister, they have trouble in school. You have done the opposite--you have grown. You have become even more compassionate and caring and my heart swells with pride each time I see you interact with Harrison. I am so proud of you and I am excited for you to have a sibling to share your life with.

Last night as you were falling asleep, I spent some time watching your peaceful little face and listening to your soft breathing and recalling how at that moment five years ago, I was packing my hospital bag and trying to imagine how much my life was about to change. I couldn't fathom how quickly that tiny baby that I would deliver the next afternoon would grow--I couldn't imagine having a five-year-old, but here we are. Happy birthday, Punkin. Thanks for the privilege of spending yet another wonderful year with you.



Carrie said...

Happy Birthday, Grace! 5 is such a big year!
Wow, her school is strict! Maybe because they are at the elementary they are more "classroomy." Nutmeg's school would never punish kids for talking out of turn during their 15 minutes of "meeting" time, they'd just remind them again (and again, and again).

Mommica said...

Isn't it amazing? (Motherhood I mean, not ice cream. Although that is pretty amazing as well...) My daughter is 17 months old and I still feel like I just had a baby. I can't imagine what it will feel like when she is 5.