Today you are five!
I think I need to sit down.
This year has brought about all kinds of big changes: you learned to read and swim. You can open the car door, strap yourself into your carseat and shut the door. You can cross a street without holding my hand. Your love affair with dinosaurs and sharks is now transitioning into a love of horses. You can throw a Frisbee. You love bowling. You're addicted to dot-to-dots. You moved with us from San Francisco to Silicon Valley, changing preschools, and weathered the storm by making new friends in the process.
You tell me that your favorite number is 21 (gasp!) and your favorite colors are blue and green. You now prefer shorts and t-shirts to wearing dresses and skirts. You remind me all the time that I'm 37.
But the biggest change of all is that you've suddenly become a very—ahem—particular eater. You have your favorites: steak, crispy calamari, pancakes, rice, cauliflower soup, salad, pasta, and fruit, and these days, you don't stray very far from those. You'll eat green beans roasted but not steamed. You prefer your corn on the cob. You much prefer raw veggies to cooked. You like your tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes. Figuring out what you will eat on a daily basis is frustrating since you do eat many things, it's just that those things change from day to day. I'm just happy you still eat your hamburgers with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion on it. (The right way.)
Speaking of food, for your Honolulu birthday party by the pool, you were very particular about the menu. You chose fried chicken, chili (your absolute favorite food these days), rice, salad, and pizza. Your cake of choice? Coconut. And it was all yummy.
One of the things I love best about you is that you have strong opinions and an unfaltering sense of what is right. So much so that people find themselves asking your opinion about shoes, clothes, and home decorating, and you always give the best advice.
Bunny, it's your birthday, but being your mamma is the biggest gift of all. I know that it's a cliche, but every day is truly a gift and I am always proud to be your mother. Every. Single. Day.
Today you turned to your sister and said, out of the blue, "I love you, Wallie." To which she responded, "I love you, too, Bunny." Those moments, which happen daily, are better than any present anyone could ever ask for. You remind me every day what it means to be loving, kind, and silly.
I love the way you talk to everyone like you're running for office. Today at the grocery store, you looked up at the checker (the cute one that you always talk to) and exclaimed, "Tomorrow I turn five!"
"You do!" he played along. "Then you must be starting kindergarten in the fall."
"Yes," you replied.
"Are you excited?" he asked.
You thought for a moment then said, "Yes. Because I know some new friends there. Like the girl with the purple tank top. She's my neighbor, too."
We all shared a laugh, then later, as we were getting ready to leave, the checker pulled me aside and tipped his head your way and said, "She's beautiful. Her eyes are just so pretty."
"Thank you," I beamed, then added, "And she's a nice kid, too."
"That, too." he chuckled. "Absolutely. That, too."
Happy Birthday to my sweet, beautiful girl. My nice kid. My five-year-old chili-and-fried-chicken-loving cutie.
I love you,