Dear Charlotte,

I find it so hard to believe I am writing you your fifth birthday letter.  How did we get here this quickly?  You’re officially a big kid now.  The baby days are far behind us with this big girl birthday and it seems like it has happened in the blink of an eye.

So much has changed this year.  For starters, you found out you were going to be a big sister.  You are so excited (especially because you’re going to have a baby sister) and I just know how wonderful and helpful you are going to be.  You never miss a chance to tell your daddy “sorry dad. it’s still a girl!”

You started a new school and made new friends.  It took you a little longer than most to adjust and open up, but that just goes to show you that you’re still teaching me, even when I’m not with you all the time.  You never let anyone push you to do something and I know I need to have patience that you will open up on your own terms and in your own way.  Your favorite thing to do is arts and crafts and you still proudly want to hang every creation you ever made.  Our home is filled with your drawings and your paintings and I love every one of them.

Also, in other big news for this year – it only took us 5 years but you go to sleep in your room, EVERY NIGHT!  And you love it! You love your bed and your sheets and how you organize your stuffed animals and blankets every night.  Maybe by your 6th birthday we will stay in bed all night, every night?  Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers.

You are truly coming into your own style and are becoming the girly girl I didn’t think you were.  On your own terms, of course.  You adore the color pink and have quickly become obsessed with Disney princesses (mostly Ariel) and, in one of my greatest parenting wins, you have a love for the Spice Girls.

You still love to cuddle and want me to hold you, and I will hold onto this for as long as I can.  I know that one day you’ll ask me to hold you for the last time and neither one of us will know it.  I’ll let you wrap your long legs around me every time you ask, never knowing if that’s the last time you’ll do it.  You make me laugh and smile and love harder than I ever thought I could.  I love our time together – whether we are shopping or painting or eating pickles at the diner.  My life changed for the better when you came into it, and it will keep changing for the better every day, for the rest of my life, because you are mine.  You are everything I never knew I needed.  Happy 5th birthday my Char.  I can’t wait to see how high you soar this year.

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