Hello and Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. I spent mine sitting in a room with 34 other runners talking about running form, fueling, strides, paces, and pretty much anything else you can think of as it relates to the sport of running. All of this was part of the RRCA coaching program, which I hope to talk about more next time. But today is my youngest daughter’s fourth birthday, and it’s become a tradition of mine to write a letter to each of my girls on their birthday, telling them a bit about what they’re up to at this stage in their life. I hope it’s a fun way for us both to remember these years!
You are about to turn four, and try as I might, I can not wrap my brain around the fact that you are so big! When you have babies, everyone tells you to cherish them because they grow up so fast. When you and your sister were smaller, I thought these people were all liars. Because my days? Didn’t seem to go by quickly. Sometimes, as much as I loved you both, I would count down the minutes until your bed time. Babies are indeed precious and cuddly and a million other good things. But they are also work. Lots and lots of hard work. Still, as I sit here reflecting on this, your fourth birthday, I can see the kernel of truth in their words. The days may be long, but the years are short.
So, what are you like right now? You’re equal parts sweet and spunky. You’ve got TONS of attitude. You love to laugh and to make other people laugh. Your giggle is often the best sound I hear all day. You’re curious, and love to go on new adventures. You adore being my “helper” when we grocery shop or bake or rake leaves. You love being read to, and this is often the only part of your day where you are sitting still. You are unpredictable, often changing your mind about what games you like, foods you prefer, and clothes you will allow me to put on you. That egg you begged me to make you yesterday? Just not a food you like anymore today. It’s a little hard to keep up sometimes, but it’s a part ofwho you are. Like your daddy, you do not like it when things get boring. I also never know what is going to come out of your mouth next! Last month you walked very dramatically down the stairs, and announced “Mom, I am not 100% today, but at least I look good”.
You began going to preschool this year at the same school your sister attends, and you love your teachers, your classmates, and the playground. You never fail to tell me about the playground. You are getting much better at drawing and coloring, can write your name, recognize almost all of your letters and the sounds that they make, and count to twenty (albeit often missing one of the teens). You love to sing, go to gymnastics classes, and swim. You can now swim independently across the width of a pool, a feat that truly impresses me, as well as jump and catch a bar at gymnastics, cross a whole set of monkey bars, and clamber to the top of most rock climbing walls. You have very little fear when it comes to attempting new athletic feats; you love a good physical challenge.
You’re also learning how to pray, and I tear up almost every single night when I hear your sweet voice thanking God for “making our world” or “all our many blessings” or – and this is my current favorite – “helping mommy remember not to let the foods on my plate touch each other”. You’ve got a good heart, Sophie. You always remember to give me a kiss and a hug before we say goodbye. You definitely don’t like to see other kids upset, and are often the first to try and make them feel better (even if the reason they are crying is because you beat them to the toy they wanted).