Waking you up this birthday morning was not an easy task, for you were very tired. It is early summer, the sun is warm and bright and you have been busy enjoying your first summer break.
I can see why you are so exhausted. There are bruises from falls dotting your legs, scratches and scrapes here and there, and red stripes of sunburn from a recent camping trip. The soles of your feet are perpetually dirty from all of the running through the grass and gardens to pick flowers and raspberries. Scattered around you are the books you read last night, and a journal of writings and drawings. All of this is evidence that your past year has been filled with action and accomplishment.
While you were five we attended volleyball games, baseball games, basketball games, softball games, and gymnastics events. You got a new bike and ditched the training wheels after only two weeks of riding. The monkey bars have become your favorite at the playgrounds. Reading happens day and night in our home and has become our bedtime tradition. You spent more time away from home than ever before this past year, visiting far away places, making new friends and learning about the world.
A few months ago you lost your first tooth. This caused a lot of concern because it didn’t make sense to you. I answered so many questions as you poked and wiggled it. But couldn’t quite put your mind at ease because, despite all of my reassurances that it was just a natural thing your body was doing, it was rather painful. Then it popped out in a bite of cantaloupe one evening at the dinner table and the drama was over. When you discovered the next morning that the Tooth Fairy had left you a dollar in exchange for it, you immediately began testing the rest of your teeth for any sign of a wiggle.
By far your greatest accomplishment was the completion of your first year of school. I will never forget that first day of kindergarten. As predicted, I cried as soon as I saw you outside of the school that morning running excitedly toward me, dressed up with your fancy new outfit and backpack. You were like a rock star, posing for pictures, knowing this was all about you.
I have a picture of you standing in line, waiting to file in to class for the first time. It is that image which fills my heart the most, for it shows that despite your anxiety, you were ready to step in to school that first day as if you were right where you wanted to be.
That is the biggest change I see and what I am most proud of in you. You are becoming a take-charge girl. You break social boundaries to make new friends, volunteer to help at school, and set the rules for every game we play. Your circle has extended beyond family and neighbors. You are learning more about the world, and bringing home new words and stories from people I have never met.
You are growing into an amazing young girl who is full of kindness, curiosity, and love. Even though you spend less time with me now and more out in that big world, I feel you and I are closer than ever. There is more to talk about, more to do, more to discover with each new day.
Today is the start of another year for us, my sweet six-year-old, and this first day is as bright and beautiful as you. I am so proud of everything you have accomplished and the amazing little girl you have become. Together we will create another year filled with exploration and learning.
I will love you always and forever. Happy Birthday to you, my Darling Doodles, my Norah Grace.