To my magical little girl,
In a few days, you will turn SEVEN. This past year has gone by so fast. It seems like you were turning six just a few weeks ago, with a fabulous disco birthday party. You have changed, grown so much. Your Daddy remarked that it is getting harder and harder to pick you up and transfer you to your own bed in our nightly bed-swapping ritual.
You are a first grader now, reading so well and learning all sorts of wonderful things in school. The beauty salon in your closet is filled with boxes that contain lots of treasures. You love collecting pretty things and you enjoy them immensely by playing with them in all kinds of imaginary ways. Sometimes I go into your room, and smile seeing the elaborate set up you have of all your castle people. The king wearing a ring around his neck, the horses all in a stable (a chocolate box that you coloured with marker pens). Your imagination makes my heart fill with joy. Your creativity is extraordinary, whether it be building things with magnetic blocks, or making a book about Dogs. You say you want to be an artist when you grow up but the truth is that you already are a better one than most people I know, including me. I find your little notes everywhere with little letters or sayings. You always want to borrow the stapler, string or tape to make a book or create some new doo-dad.
You have lost your two front teeth and I see your face slowly changing from those baby cheeks to a big girl. You love and enjoy music and dancing but this year you have become more easily embarrassed and shy. You won’t readily dance when people are watching or sing when people are listening. But when any of your friends takes a ride in the car with us, you join them in singing loudly and I am always amazed how you know all the lyrics of all the songs on the radio. I wish you still sang and danced like you used to.. I was watching a video from when you were five years old and I was interviewing your sister. There you were in the background, twirling and dancing without any self consciousness. You are becoming less of a performer now, and once you told me it is because you didn’t like the way your voice sounded. That made me so sad my love. I wish you knew how magical your voice is, how your dancing and skipping lifts the spirits of everyone who crosses your path. Of course I am starting to embarrass you too… when I sing, or dance, you laugh and ask me to stop!
These past few weeks have been really hard on your mummy’s heart. You see, in a small town in Connecticut, twenty little children’s lives were cut short. Twenty first graders, six and seven years old, just like you. My heart hurt because I knew exactly what a six year old is all about and I could understand the extreme void that their parents must feel. I listened to the moms and dads try to describe their little child but I knew there were not enough words in the vocabulary for them to make people really know their beautiful son or daughter. There are no words for that feeling of finding a little note asking Santa for a little something, no words for the warmth of their little hand holding yours as you cross the street, no words for the big grin on your face when you hear them come home, no words for how they have changed your world in every way that means anything. There are not enough words to describe a first grader. And I saw them struggle with the words and my heart broke so many times. I understood because I knew that every single one of them, a parent just like me, would take a million bullets to save their child from a second of pain.
You are magic. You can transform a dull and gloomy day into sunshine by your jokes and imagination. You can convert a fashion cynic into a believer by describing with such clarity why leopard patterned coats and shoes co-ordinate with everything. You can slow the whirlwind of a crazy grown-up day down to meaningful moments by asking me to lie down and snuggle with you before you fall asleep. You can take a complex problem and distill it down to the essential with such clarity. Your magic is in making an adult see what is most important by just living your life as you would normally.
Baby girl, happiest of days to you. This year you just want a small celebration. A trip to the American Girl store and dinner and cake with just the four of us. How funny that in 366 days you went from being someone who wanted to invite 20 people to a full blown dance party celebration to someone who now wants something more quiet. My wish for you is health, happiness and a heart filled with gratitude.
I love you to infinity and beyond my love. More than you will ever know.
Many hugs and kisses, Mummy
This is our monthly letter to our daughters. Forgive all the photos this month. I wanted to have one from every single month of my daughter’s 6th year. Please follow the blog circle to the talented Sara Tegman from Missouri. Sara has two daughters as well and also contributes to the Bloom forum for photographers.