My girl, my big, big girl. Where do I even start? What a different creature you are than the tiny, perfect pink one that I met six years ago.
Here are the things you love: Mama, Papa, and Ajax. You draw us endless pictures and write us endless notes telling each of us that you love us. They are plastered in my office, on the walls, piled beside our beds. You love writing and drawing and coloring, even carefully tapping out your own stories on the computer, one sentence per page.
You love the snow; you never got tired of it last year. You were out in every storm, playing, digging, and building snowmen. You loved ice skating last winter, to my surprise. So we'll be doing it more this winter, especially since you just got your very own skates as an early birthday present. Over the summer, you became a fish, a mermaid, in the pool - you were just ready to make that leap. It was incredible to watch you improve over the whole summer, and to realize I had become practically superfluous at the pool, as you paddled confidently away, doing cannonballs and dives into the water with your friends.
You can blow your own bubbles now. (When did you learn to do that? It seems like it just...happened.)
First day of kindergarten
You love fancy dresses, but you never let them stop you from running as hard as you can. You don't wear them every day; you alternate with a robot shirt your cousin gave you, riding boots and jeans, your beloved Giants jersey.
Your art still piles in paper drifts about the house. You love notebooks and journals, and fill them with scribbles and drawings and words and thoughts. You are whip-smart - doing things well above your grade level, picking them up so fast. We all run to keep up with you, as always.
You love anything chocolate, and really, there might as well be no other form of sweet in the world, because chocolate is the end-all, be-all for you. You like pasta in almost any shape, though right now you prefer it plain with parmesan generously sprinkled. You ask to help with dinner almost every night, setting the table, stirring, serving. You are old enough to actually be of help now, instead of "help."
You love your little brother, which is a frustrating process. Every day, you try to hug him, kiss him, play with him. Every day, he refuses at least half of your hugs, pulls your hair, pinches you, bothers you, destroys your projects. But still, you hug, still you chase him around the house, still you try to help him, holding his hand as he walks carefully down the stairs. Still, you read to him sometimes.
You are so many things, on different days. You are not one thing or the other; you are interested in so many things in the world, and I try to let you be interested, let you try and decide what you like or don't like.
Of course, you still love "Frozen."
Here are some of the things you do not like: Waiting for things, brushing your teeth, carrots, fizzy beverages, having your hair brushed, saying goodbye to your grandparents, getting ready for school on Mondays, having to go to bed at night (though you are usually asleep in minutes - you still have two speeds only: on or off).
Waiting for everyone to be awake to open presents on Christmas morning
You are obsessed with the monkey bars on the school playground, doing them over and over and over, blistering your hands in the process, doing it again, some more, to get better. You are brave, braver than I ever was at your age. You love amusement park rides and climbing and running and jumping.
Grabbing for the brass ring. You're going to get it, one day.
You wear your heart on your sleeve, you are quick to like other kids, make them your friends, and shower them with little notes and cards, the same as you do us. You are hurt easily by words; you can't let it roll off, even when you need to. You tease sometimes, but you are not inclined to be mean. You really just want to have fun.
You are almost always ready (sometimes too ready) to be silly and play and laugh.
You are so much fun to do things with now. I love the times when it can be just me and you, and we get breakfast or lunch at a favorite place, or go on a ride at the fair that your father won't go on. I feel like almost anything is possible with you now - we could go to Australia to see your cousins, let you stay up until midnight for New Year's Eve. And we will do all of those things, we will cram them in, as much as I can. I promise.
Now you are six. One of the things I love the most about you is how you throw yourself into the fun of everything, and how you get so excited about it all - field trips, Halloween, birthday presents, your first sleepover. Nothing makes me happier than to see you have fun, see that smile on your face.
You have the best smile, my sweet girl (now minus one more tooth!). Never stop. Never.
Happy birthday, baby doll. You are my first baby, my best girl, my gorgeous girl, always a fiery bright spot. Our lives would sparkle much less without you. You are loved, always.