Happy 4th Birthday, Aria

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I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Aria.

Dear Aria,

Happy 4th birthday!

What a year you’ve had. A great year of new things, like preschool, moving from a car seat to booster seat, transitioning completely out of pull-up diapers (YAY!), learning to write your name, figuring out how to fold your laundry the KonMari way, and finding new things that you love.

Currently, you love playing Memory, creating art, eating instant ramen, having books read out loud to you, singing songs from Doc McStuffins, telling us about your friends at preschool, riding on your scooter, and cleaning windows with what you call “window-dex” (aka Windex). Most days you dress up in creative, colorful outfits, which accurately reflects your exuberant personality.

You add so much joy and flair everywhere you go. You are confident, and able to jump into lots of new situations with excitement. There are so many unique and special things about you, Aria.

I hope this next year brings new discoveries and adventures.

Hugs, kisses, and lots of love,

Mommy

Happy 6th Birthday, Alex

I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Alex.

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Dear Alex,

Happy birthday!

There is so much to celebrate about you.

You are resilient, spunky, and fun. You are creative, and love to make beautiful art for other people. You are engaged with the world around you. You love connecting with people and being helpful to others. Sometimes we get glimpses of an older version of you – like when you are so quick to help your little sister when she’s mid-meltdown.

This year you graduated from preschool. Yay! Then you jumped into kindergarten with excitement. Every day you enjoy telling us about what you did at school and who you played with at recess.

You are learning how to read and write, and are so self-motivated that we’ve barely done anything other than provide you with lots of books and paper. Car rides with you are fun because you are constantly finding signs to read out loud.

Other new things from this year – you got your ears pierced, you started really swimming, you learned how to shower all by yourself, you figured out how to ride a bike without training wheels, and you started playing soccer.

You love getting your fingernails painted, watching PJ Masks, going on family camping trips, listening to the Greatest Showman soundtrack, getting Happy Meals at McDonald’s, going on special Daddy-Daughter dates with Dad, playing with water outside, telling knock knock jokes, and hanging out at Wet N Wild.

Alex, you are a pure joy to have as my daughter. I hope this year is full of fun and growth for you. I love you a lot.

Love, Mom

Happy 9th Birthday, Aaron

I write letters to my children on their birthdays. Here is last year’s letter to Aaron.

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Happy 9th birthday, Aaron!

Um, hold on…you’re halfway to 18. I need to pause and take a breath, because that fact is blowing my mind. It wasn’t very long ago when you were born and made me a mommy. And now you’re halfway to 18.

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You wanted to celebrate your birthday with pizza, mint ice cream, and a trip to the beach. So that’s what we did.

This year you conquered the 3rd grade. You really love math, to the point of asking us if you can learn more advanced algebra. That love and skill with math comes solely from your dad, by the way. You’re transitioning to a different school next year, and though that means starting over in a new learning environment, you seem up for the challenge.

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Your favorite things to do include playing soccer, running in the waves at the beach, reading Minecraft books, folding origami, and watching Survivor. For a long time you didn’t seem interested in learning how to ride a bike. Then one day this year, you suddenly got motivated, and just started zooming down the street with no help at all. Another new thing this year was getting a family dog. Every day you wake up and feed the dog, and each night you give him a big hug before going to bed.

You make me laugh all the time with your clever insights and wordplay. Here’s my favorite joke of yours:

Q: What’s the difference between a coyote and a flea?
A: One howls on the prairie. The other prowls on the hairy.

You are becoming resourceful and independent. You can now do your own laundry (hooray!), make your own eggs for breakfast, and once made dessert for our family.

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There are so many reasons to celebrate you, Aaron. You are kind and curious. You are content and go with the flow. You’re patient and gracious with me as I learn this whole parenting thing. You are a joy to have as a son.

I love you and am grateful for you.

Love, Mom