Monday, December 20, 2010
And now she is five.
Ella's birthday was actually eleven days ago. I have had a five year old for eleven days now, and I am still getting acquainted with the idea. As bittersweet as it is to watch the baby of the family get older, knowing that this is my last time to watch a childhood unfold, it is perhaps more heart wrenching to sit by as my Big Girl gets older. She is the first, the one who made me a mom, the girl who made my parents into grandparents. For three years it was just me and her, all day, the two of us learning together how to do this thing we were doing every day. She is my first, and for that she and I will always have a special-ness that no one else on this planet can share.
Ella, at five (FIVE. I still have trouble saying it some days.) you are incredibly smart, and funny, and curious, and a million other things that I couldn't even begin to describe right now. Your intelligence astounds me sometimes. You throw around words like 'nocturnal' and 'interpretive dance', and you know what they mean. It really was just yesterday that you were a toddler, saying 'amaaaano' for 'tomato' and running around the house in a diaper. You are starting to read, and the perfectionist in you cannot stand it that you can't read really big words quite yet. I say to you, "Be patient, girl." You are at the jumping off point, thisclose to being ready to leave "little kid-hood" behind for good, ready to leap head first into big, important things: real, big kid school, making new friends, growing up into the person that you will be. I think you know this, can sense it, and while you are excited about what is to come you hold tightly to the little girl in you. Not quite old enough to be interested in all of the "tween" stuff like Hannah Montana and liking boys, but a little too old for toddler toys and games. Again I will say: Be patient, girl. It is coming. You have so much greatness in you, so many good, exciting things heading your way in the not-so-distant future. Some days I want to grab you tightly and say "slow down" to see if that makes it stop, this growing up thing you are doing.
At five, you are curious about everything around you, and this is evident in the million and one questions that you ask me every single day. I hope you never lose this curiosity, this need to learn things about everything in the world, to find answers for things that you wonder about. I love watching the world through your eyes these days...everything is a mystery to be solved or figured out, mundane things are miraculous through your five-year-old eyes. You are letting me go through childhood again, kid, and for that I thank you. I've learned that it really is pretty incredible that hawks can hunt for their food from way up in the air, and it is amazing how tulips know just when to pop up through the ground in the spring time.
I would say that I am proud to be your mother, but that word, "Proud", doesn't do it justice, really. I am honored to be the one you spend your days with, and I am already mourning the loss of these lazy days as we rapidly approach Kindergarten next fall. Because that means that many fewer hugs, that many fewer stories I read to you, that many fewer times that I am the one to hug you when you fall down, when you are out of the nest next year.
I'm not sure how this has turned into a letter to you, Ella, but here it is. My hope is that you keep being who you are, quirks and all, and that you always, always know this: I love you more than ice cream, and to the moon and back, my five-year-old.