Happy Birthday

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Happy Birthday to my Maris Sunshine.

You are 4 years old now. I asked you what you were going to do now that you are four and you knew that you wanted to ride your bike around the block, do the monkey bars, and jump off the swing. You surprised all of us by actually DOING the monkey bars just a few days after your birthday. Big sister does those other things, though, and you are pretty sure that being four means you’ve caught up with her now.

Maris Sunshine, I need to tell you something…

I love you so much! You are a do-er, a mover and shaker, a smile-er. You amaze me with your understanding of how the world works. You march to your own beat. Always have.

I love your independence. Maris wants to do what Maris wants to do. You drive me all kinds of crazy because you don’t do anything I ask you to do, but you don’t ask much of me either. You find me when you run out of glue sticks or when you need help dressing your dolls. Otherwise, you do most of it yourself.

I am keenly aware that you are often overlooked. You sit in big sister’s shadow and wait in line when little brother’s needs come first, yet you are the first to notice an empty lap or find me in a peaceful moment.  God knew your place in our family dynamic and gave you a personality befitting a middle child.

You are resilient, if nothing else. When you run into an obstacle, you find a way to move forward no matter what. You can shift gears better than most, you can solve problems, you understand the complex emotions of the people around you and act accordingly. You can’t always explain what you see and feel, but I am always in awe when you can survey a complex situation and then describe it in a few simple words. You can also find the humor in things. My very favorite thing that you say is, “That’s funny, Mommy,” while smiling and giggling at your newfound humor.

At four years old, there are a few things that make you uniquely you. You are “the one with the curly hair,” to everyone who meets you. Everyone notices it and wants to know where you got it. You are also not distinctly right or left handed yet.  I wonder when you’ll finally choose!

Right now, you are most interested in just playing. You know your colors and you can count to 14, but you don’t write your name yet or know many letters in the alphabet. There’s time for that later. You are a focused when you play, often spending an hour or more on a single activity. You love to sing, too, both real and made up songs. You like to play the video game “Subway Surfer,” and you are really, really good at it. Unnaturally good.

I hope being four is terrific for you. I’ll do what I can to make it great, if you’ll just keep on being you.

All my love.

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