Dear Mary Grace,
Happy fifth birthday! I can't believe that you're already five. They're really not kidding when they say "it goes by so fast."
I don't even know what to say... You're not a little baby anymore - someone who can be summed up in one page. You're a whole person. Psychologists say that your personality is fully formed by the time you're five, and that who you are down deep inside doesn't change much between now and when you're an adult. I hope that's true, because there is so much about you that's so wonderful, and I hope it's all permanent.
You love people. Everywhere we go you find a kid about your age and you say, "Hi, I'm Mary Grace and this is my sister, Claire. What's your name?" You are very outgoing and friendly, and you have lots and lots of friends as a result. When you're around littler kids, you're very patient with them. And you love playing with bigger kids. You can't get enough of Lucy and Jane and their friends, and the older girls in our neighborhood. You really get along well with everyone.
Speaking of littler kids, you're really looking forward to having a new little brother or sister this winter. Right now you're saying you want a brother because you already have a sister. You come up with interesting suggestions for baby names - this morning it was "Hannay" and "Rosalinda." You ask me all kinds of really good questions about "Baby Gozer," and you know all about how s/he's growing, what an umbilical cord is for, and so on. You have such a quick, curious mind.
Claire is truly your best friend. You are so sweet together. During school, you always save half of your snack for her. Daddy took you out for your birthday breakfast today, and you brought home half of it for Claire. You're always there to protect her, too, if bigger kids bug her at the playground, or if she gets hurt. Earlier this year she got stuck in a slide at Monkey Joe's, and you came right out and got me. You two play together so well, and I am so happy that you're each others' best friends.
We went to Huntsville recently, and I loved watching you explore with your daddy. You are so bright and so quick, and you understand so many things - and when you don't understand something right away, you keep trying until you figure it out. Daddy and I are both proud of what a hard worker you are. You love learning, reading books, going new places, math and science, robots, space... I hope you always love learning as much as you do now.
Here's the checklist I started doing when you were a baby:
Your favorite toy for playing is: your Toy Story characters
Your favorite toy for snuggling is: your panda bears
Your favorite food is: blueberries
Your favorite book is: Stellaluna
Your favorite activity is: building robots with Daddy
Your favorite place to go is: the Children's Museum
Your best friend is: Claire
Something new that you're doing: coloring inside the lines and using the correct colors for things, instead of just scribbling. We tease that you color like it's your job!
Something you've mastered: letting Max in and out of the back door, helping me with laundry, sorting the silverware when it comes out of the dishwasher, setting the table...
Something people say about you: "She's so funny!"
Something that you're saying is: "Mommy, I know how to iPhone." "Can I go play with my friends?"
Something Dad and I are proud of you for: earlier in the year we thought you'd be starting kindergarten this fall, but it turns out that you missed the cut off by 10 days. You have been SO good about this change in plans, and you haven't gotten angry or upset with us at all, even though we were all a little disappointed.
Something surprising about you: how tall you are - you're already wearing size 6 clothes because the 4s and 5s are too short. It's surprising because I'm so short. You'll probably be taller than I am by 2nd grade.
What you want to be when you grow up: a veterinarian
I love you so much, and I am so lucky to be your mom. I hope today is all full of special memories!