Today you are six years old. I know this because you have been counting down becoming six for the past 364 days until this morning. And then, you woke up and promptly told me that you miss being five. Shortly after, I had a conversation with you about how some women wax their pubic hair. (You asked.) Then you told me, “I will never ever do that.” It doesn’t surprise me, you won’t even get your ears pierced, so I think you have a while to work your way up to the pain of waxing private parts.
If you think this is an odd way to start a birthday with a six year old, it’s really not. This is just a glimpse into every day life with you. It’s weird and exciting and exhausting and hilarious and frustrating. It’s all the things you would expect with a child who loves life in a way that is bigger than you can imagine and who likes to exert her independence at opportune moments–like answering the door alone for the mail person or asking for the manager at a restaurant so that you can tell her that the shade on the light is torn.
You dance like no one is watching, and it’s not just a saying on a bumper sticker. You get up in restaurants and dance to the beat of something that is in your head or on the radio (it doesn’t matter if no one else can hear it). You test out the acoustics in a room at the museums because it was the perfect place to sing. You ask the “Red Kettle” people if you can ring the bell to help raise money for people in need. You spend time making crafts so you can give them to people. You generally love and appreciate people and life.
This year, you got your first kitten. Sure we had a cat (and dogs) already, but you wanted a kitten of your own. So, you went to the shelter with daddy and picked out Flurry. He couldn’t be a better kitten for you. He is a needy thing who wants to be in the room with someone at all times. And you oblige him by carting that cat around everywhere (and he loves it). From the first night, he snuggled right into bed with you like he was just waiting for you to come pick him out. He’s your kitten, for sure.
A few days before your birthday you told me out of the blue, “Mommy, I think I’m perfect just the way I am” and then I realized how much more I have to learn from you.
I love you, Ella.
“My little girl is growing up!” (You think it’s so funny when I say that and ask me to hug you and say that sometimes.)