My dear Charlotte,
Five. A whole hand. A half a decade. However you say it, I still can't believe it. FIVE years old? It feels as I blinked and time has flown by; like just yesterday you came into our world and changed it for the better.
It has been a fun couple days. As usual, the combination of your birthday and my birthday, plus a big ol' party means 4 days of straight celebration; and I wouldn't have it any other way. Your birthday party this year was themed "Tutu Dance Party"...we made 20 tutus for our closest friends and relatives, and we put together a grand party for a grand little girl. You had an absolute blast and it was so fun to watch, as the joy that radiated from your little body was infectious.
This morning you woke up and came downstairs to your birthday present from your daddy & I; a new bike, a 2-wheeler like Katherine and Will's. Daddy was hesitant when we picked this present for you, as we weren't sure if you were ready for a big bike. We were wrong, and once again we underestimated what you are made of...we should really learn, my dear, not to underestimate you. You rode that bike today all over the driveway, and then tonight you decided you needed to ride along with us for part of our nightly walk instead of taking your usual spot in the stroller next to Jack.
This year you loved when we sang "happy birthday"...and requested it at least four times today. We did candles twice; in your pancakes this morning and then tonight in your birthday cake. You shimmied in your seat with excitement and then blew out those candles. Leading up to today, we tried to prepare you for turning five, by prompting you when someone would ask how old you were to say "five" instead of "four." Every time, you still answered "four" when we asked...until this morning, when sitting on your new bike, I asked you how old you were and without thinking, you said very calmly, "I'm five." There was no tricking you into telling us you were five before you actually were.
You have spent some time at your new school these past two weeks, in preparation for Kindergarten this fall. I would pick you up after an hour of hanging with your teachers and the other kids, and you wouldn't make eye contact with me, but rather just file into line with the kids and walk down to the cafeteria. I am pretty sure you would have stayed all day if possible. Sometimes it floors me how independent and grown-up you have become this past year. I am so proud of the little lady you have become and excited to see what this next year brings.
I love you more than you can imagine, my dear Charlotte.