16 June 2009

Happy Birthday, Charis!


Dear Charis,

Today, we celebrated your fifth birthday. FIFTH! How on earth can this be? Just yesterday, we brought home all six pounds, three ounces of you. Today, you're 38 pounds of energy and laughter, a delight to everyone who knows you (and even a lot of people you don't).

Yesterday, I asked you if you'd like to go to the park today for a pizza picnic, just for something special to do. "Yes," you replied, "but can I bring all of my friends?" So today at noon, we went to the park and had pizza, chips, cake, ice cream, and pop (enjoy the junk--and don't get used to it!) and you and your friends ran around until you dropped. Katie and Travis were there, and so were Gideon and Elise, Lizzie and Daniel, Emily, and Katie, Alyssa, and Emily G. You've got a lot of "favorite" friends for a 5 year old, but that's part of what makes you YOU. You are extremely social and friendly, and almost always sweet and kind. Even when you were very small, you were outgoing and fun, and time has not diminished that one bit.

You're also unafraid to try new things. When I was a little girl, new things terrified me--it was years before I learned to ride a bike or play kickball, years when I missed out on the fun. You, on the other hand, are pretty fearless. When I asked you what gifts you'd like to receive for your birthday, you named only one item. I asked again and again, for weeks, certain that you'd change your mind, but the answer remained the same: "All I want is a pogo stick." A pogo stick? Really? But that's part of what makes you YOU. Hopping around precariously appeals to you. Trying new and potentially dangerous things sounds good to you. You're not afraid to fail, and I love that about you. I know that you will accomplish fantastic things because of that.

You're curious. Today, before your party, we went to "Little Sneezers" (as you call it) to pick up a few pizzas for your party. When we pulled in, you announced, "We're at the renstraunt! Can you say that, Judah? You say 'Ren-straunt.'" "Actually," I said, "it's pronounced 'REST-raunt." You cocked your head to the side, and squinting, asked, "Why is it REST? Why do they want you to REST?" This is part of what makes you YOU. You want to know why, to understand everything about everything.

You're a great sister. Ruby is crawling fast these days, and we don't always have all of the safety gates up that we need. Not only will you alert me when she is crawling toward dangerous territory, you'll also snatch her up as if she's a tiny kitten and scurry her away to a safer place. In a similar way, you're a little mother to Judah when you think he needs it. He does not always agree that he needs it, but you are willing to look out for him just the same. And this is part of what makes you YOU; your family is very important to you, and you will always do your best to make sure they are well looked after.

You really are sweet. Today, after our family-only party, you approached Auntie Moriah and thanked her specifically for the bracelet and hair clips she gave to you. And the funny thing was that this isn't strange behavior for you; it is totally like you to thank me for making you a piece of toast or to thank Judah for sharing a handful of cereal with you. THis is a very YOU part of you; you're a kind girl, and I pray that that will always be the case.

This fall, you will begin school. While a part of me will mourn your absence during the day (I get that from your Grandpa), another part of me (the part I got from Grandma) is totally excited for this new phase in your life. I have no doubt that you will love the learning, the activity, the creativity, and the social interaction you'll find in your kindergarten class. So while I'll be a bit jealous that these other people will get to spend so much quality time with you during the day, another part of me thinks Lucky them. They will get to know an outgoing, fun, curious, kind and sweet girl, the YOU that I have cherished for five years now.

Happy Birthday, baby girl. You are the best firstborn I can imagine. I love you!

1 comment:

Donna Koehn said...

Charis is so-o-o much like her mom at that age (except for the risk-taking aspect, my perfectionist). If all children could be so gregarious and confident, willing to try stuff, compassionate, and eager to learn, teachers would have a great time. Cherish and nurture those qualities--they will take her far in this life!