On January 30 you turned five years old.
|Birthday girl at her PJ party.|
I mean where do I even begin? Other than to point out that this year has been huge, HUGE I SAY! I guess I can start with a quick run through of just a few of the tiny little life events that you have experienced this past year:
January 2012: You turn four years old
March 2012: You learn that in about 6 months time you will become a big sister
July 2012: You say good-bye to your second home, your second family, at Downtown Kids Academy and start at a brand-new daycare at the school next door
July 2012: We lose our beloved Moet, your furry pal and someone who has been a big part of your life since the day you arrived
September 2012: You start Junior Kindergarten
September 2012: Your baby sister arrives
October 2012 through January 2013: You learn to live with a whole new person in our house and in our hearts
|January 30, 2013, you turn 5 years old.|
Yeah. So just a few life-altering, gigantic, massive, confusing, disruptive, exciting, devastating, mind-blowing adjustments. Just a few.
|Putting myself in the picture. In a bathing suit. At 8 months pregnant. Eat your heart out, Allison Tate.|
And I have to tell you Bella, that although there have been some obvious emotional hurdles to leap, not just for you but for all of us, you are leaping them with as much grace and confidence and style and humour and intellegence that I could have possibly hoped a little four (almost five) year old kid could leap with. I hope you know that your dad and I are accutely aware of how huge this year has been for you. How hard it has been at times. And how obnoxiously proud we are of you for how you are handling it all.
|Pre-school prom day and last week at Downtown Kids Academy.|
|First day of JK.|
Despite the rollercoaster of a year you have endured, you have still blossomed. I don't know if it's just my perspective because we have a true baby in the house again but you have shed the last of your babyness this year. You have stretched tall and ironed out the double wrists and pot belly. Your face is changing by the day and your legs are long and coltish. I know you are still getting used to your new, long, lean body but I love to watch you use it. When you dance. When you stretch out like a lazy teenager on the couch, all draping limbs and rolling eyes. When you demonstrate the yoga moves you've learned at school or hop awkwardly around the dining room table. I marvel at this body you have now. How can it be the same one that I gathered in my arms and fed from my body just a handful of short years ago? I want you to always take care of it, respect it and always insist that others respect it too.
|Spring, 2012. See that belly and those baby wrists? All gone.|
But more of a marvel is the development of your mind. My God are you smart. This year you learned to read and write. Just like that you can do it now. I don't even know how it happened, except one day you were writing your name, and then you were writing my name, and then you were writing sentences and spelling words on command and asking questions, questions always with the questions. Never stop asking questions, they are your key to true success in this world.
And yet, despite all the growing and maturing you have done this year, you are still so little. You are my little girl and at times I have to stop and remind myself of this simple yet beautiful fact. You are small, you are sensitive and you are hungry for the attention that until just six months ago you had all to yourself. I get it sweet baby girl. I really do. And I am trying so hard to give it to you. It's true that I'm tired and busy with the baby and that sometimes it's a struggle to give you 100 per cent but I want you to know that you are and always will be my lady, my first, my heart and my soul.
|My heart and soul.|
Sometimes I look at you in a moment of calm, when the light is just right and the family is at peace and I can see both the baby you once were and the woman you'll one day become. In those fleeting moments it's clear that we have done a good job, your father and I. Us and all the other villagers that are helping to raise you and to teach you. You're a good girl, Anabella. You are perfect.
|When the light is just right.|
I love you so much.
|You are so beautiful.|