Today my Abbie turns four. Four. It seems so big to me, and yet suits her perfectly. In fact, for months now I’ve almost been referring to her as four, telling people, “She’ll be four in December.” Now we’re here, and she really is four.
People say the time goes so fast, but to me it isn’t true. Sure, looking back it seems like it went quickly, but I have felt every day of her four years, in all the highs and lows they contained. I have spent those four years getting to know my daughter, learning her personality and quirks. I’ve learned what makes her happy and sad, her few favorite foods, and seen her blossom from an independent baby (yes, she was independent then) to a determined little girl.
I first want to tell you how thankful and proud I am that you are my daughter. You have grown and learned so much this year, and my favorite thing is that you can now have entire conversations with us. I love the stories you make up about your toys and your dollhouse and seeing your imagination work. I love your snuggles in the morning and evening, and your excitement over the little things in life.
This year, and especially the last seven weeks, brought big changes for you in the form of your little sister arriving. I didn’t know how you would handle it, but you’ve been the sweetest big sister from the first moment, and I cannot wait to watch your relationship grow. Ella already looks up to you and you can calm her when she’s crying – she knows just how special you are too.
We’ve had some tough spots this year too – your independence is both your best and worst quality, and you want to assert it all the time. You are constantly testing your boundaries but slowly learning where they are. Sometimes you push too hard. Sometimes in your zest to get your way, you can be mean, but we are working on that. I want so many things for you, but above all else, I want you to be kind and treat others with respect. You’re still young and learning to control your feelings, but I have faith you will get there. Besides, you love people too much to want anything other than to be their friend.
I know this coming year brings more growth and challenges, especially as you continue to learn to be a big sister. I know you’ll continue to push us one minute and be sweet the next, still be the picky eater we know you to be, and still give great hugs and snuggles when you want to. I can’t wait for the conversations and fun in the year to come, and to see more of your personality shine.
I love you so much, my big girl. Happy Birthday!