I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Alex.
Happy 4th Birthday to you! You’re very proud to have turned four, and you should be. It’s quite the accomplishment.
This year…whew. It was a rollercoaster with you. You expressed your frustrations in very dramatic ways. You also displayed your joys and affections with dramatic flair. I am guessing (because most of parenting is that – guessing.) this expressive, confident, willful personality of yours will continue beyond your preschool-age years. Which makes me terrified and proud at the same time.
You tell us wonderful things like, “I love you 100 miles per hour,” and give the best affectionate squeezes. When you find something funny, your laugh washes over your entire body. You want to involve yourself in everything other people are doing. You say, “When I grow up, I want to be a mommy.”
You love listening to stories (often sitting for longer chapter books), painting with watercolors, making up songs, getting flipped into the air by Daddy, praying for people you love, watching Doc McStuffins, eating quesadillas, and playing with your siblings.
I hope this year will be filled with joy for you. I hope you will grow in being compassionate, kind, and resilient. There will be times when you feel sad or angry – that’s okay. I just hope that in the painful moments, you will always know that you are beloved. You are my beautiful, delightful daughter.
I love you 100 miles per hour.