Today, you turn five and for me, it feels like you are no longer a baby. I looked at you as I put you to bed last night and all I could think was, "How did this happen? When did you get so big? And why can't you stay little so that I can protect you from the world?"
|Doodle, three days old|
And while I know you are still so young, five just seems like such a big age. This year, you'll start kindergarten. You'll start losing teeth. You'll stop spending every waking hour of every single day with me. Big changes are coming and you don't even realize it.
|Doodle, age 5|
Now, I'd like to tell you that the last five years were all "rainbows and unicorns", but that would be a lie. You're not the perfect child. And I am not the perfect mother. We battle. We butt heads. You throw tantrums and I throw them right back at you. You cry. I cry. And I swear, there are days when I am convinced you are possessed.
But, it's not really those moments that matter. It's the other moments. The ones when you are the most cuddly person on the planet. When you are the most amazing big sister I have ever seen. And when you are impressing me with the person you have become. Doodle, you are strong and beautiful and passionate. You are caring and loving and determined. And you are going to do great things.
Recently, I have begun to understand that you don't act out to hurt me or to get your way. Instead, you get loud and argumentative because you are feeling stifled. Like me, you thrive on order and control and when things don't go as plan, you get upset. You don't always see that there are multiple paths to get to the same destination.
My advice to you is relax. Just because there are stumbling blocks along the way doesn't mean that you can't reach your goals. You are too strong not to. Doodle, don't ever let anyone quiet your inner strength. Don't let anyone shut you down. And don't ever stop believing that everything will work out for the best.
It will, if you just let it.
And remember, I love you bigger than the whole wide world forever and ever. Happy 5th birthday!