My dearest, darlingest, Alex:
Today marks a big day for you. Today you can no longer use just one hand to signify your age. You are six, and have so far entered this new age beautifully. This morning, you made me jump by walking in to the bathroom while I was showering in the wee hours of the morning. You frequently wake up early, but this was particularly early. You were so ready to be six and just couldn’t sleep any longer!
In some ways it feels like only yesterday that you were born; in others it feels like you have always been in my life. And even when we fight, I want nothing more than to cuddle with you and tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of you. Like all families, we have our challenges, and your stubbornness can definitely clash with my own at times. By the end of any “fight”, though, all you want is a hug, and I am always more than happy to remind you that I love you unconditionally, give you a squeeze and a kiss, and move on. Your sensitivity is amazing.
And you are one amazing kid in general. And a kid you are. No longer a baby, toddler, preschooler…you are a full fledged kid. You have opinions, which you can back up with facts!, and tastes. You still ask a million questions per day, and even though the “why” stage is no longer with us, it has remained in a much more complex way while you continue to ask about the “how” and the “why not?” Rules are all fine and dandy, but you need to know the reasoning behind the rules. “Because” is never an acceptable answer.
A week from tomorrow you will begin the biggest transition of your memorable life: Kindergarten! You will be leaving the daycare center where you have been for over two years, and begin your first year in elementary school. Each morning, you will have to get yourself out of the car, by yourself, and walk into the elementary school and to your classroom. Each afternoon you will take a bus without parents to your extended day program. This will certainly be a year of increased independence; a year where your wish to do everything on your own will begin to come true.
This year you have managed to change so much, and yet stay the same loving, tender-hearted, child that you have been for years. You grew in height and weight, sure, but also in social and emotional ways, too. You are forming friendships, real friendships, and have begun to notice the way that kids aren’t always nice to each other. You have expressed concern over who you play with, and who wants to play with you. You no longer believe, as your daycare has tried to instill in the children, that everyone is a “friend.” This is a complicated topic, but you know that no matter what one thing is true: everyone deserves respect.
Over the past twelve months, your interest in costumes has not only maintained, but also increased to include less obvious costumes: Dr. Who, Finn, Spy Kid(s). Your interest in style has also been a very fun thing to witness. Yesterday you wore gym pants, boots, and a long sleeved shirt (in 80+ degree weather!), and a few days ago you were in slacks, a bow-tie, and, naturally, a cape. Needless to say, you are always unique.
This year was wonderful. You are so much fun and often so hilarious. You tell stories, long stories, true stories and pretend stories. You share jokes, inside jokes with friends at school that I just do not get, close-but-not-quite puns, and funny things that you witnessed in real life or in movies. You are beginning to read, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading chapter books and much longer stories this year. Your favorite reading material, though, is comic books. We have read easily 30 comic books: Batman, Spiderman, Adventure Time, Scooby Doo. Some mornings you’ll stay in your bed and peruse your new comic book shelf.
When it comes to stories and life in general, you remember everything. Absolutely everything. If we pick up a book we haven’t read in months you can practically recite the whole thing. If I “WHOOPS! SKIPPED A PAGE BECAUSE IT IS SO LATE AND YOU NEED TO GET TO BED”, you tell me I missed part of the story. It never ceases to amaze me that you will remember who gave you what, who said what, what happened, where it happened, 5-year-old-style-when it happened (“that was, like, five years ago, Mommy,” when it was maybe last week). You still ask about a toy that was attached to a play mat that you had when you were a baby: a dangling giraffe that you insist you never said we could get rid of. You still ask about your first ever Transformer, which broke more than two years ago.
My love for you can’t be put into words. And the most amazing thing that it somehow keep growing as you do.
I absolutely cannot wait to see what this next year, SIX!, brings.
I love you forever and ever. To infinity and beyond.
Mommy, who is slowly transitioning to “Mom”