A Letter to My Daughter on her 5th Birthday

car facesI can’t believe you are five years old. I can’t believe how much has happened in the past 12 months.

Amelia, you are becoming a really sweet and thoughtful little girl. You constantly have more questions than we have answers and your constant energy is exhausting.

You started Pre-K this past August and so far you really seem to be enjoying it. Each day you come home and tell me a little something about your day and what you learned. It’s usually pretty brief and we have to ask for details. You usually tell us that you forgot what you learned because you napped during the day.

You are developing a pretty quick wit and funny little sense of humor. Just yesterday you had climbed into bed with us early in the morning. You were sleeping on the edge of the bed on your mom’s side. When Laura asked you if you had any room you stated matter of factly, “naw, Mom, I’m like a squirrel in a tree over here.” It was a perfect analogy. I’ve told that story more times than I can count in just the last day.

As you get older and you and I get to spend a lot of time together, you’ve started confiding in me about certain things. Nothing big or outrageous, but you seem to like that we have secrets that we don’t tell your mom about.

Your favorite game to play is the one where I pretend not to know you. Every time we go to the grocery store or are in public together, you’ll say, “Dad, can we play that game where you don’t know me and tell me to find my parents.” It’s hilarious.

You’ve stopped saying a lot of the things I loved and we’ll miss them. At some point “candy cans” became “candy canes.” “‘Poon” became “spoon,” though I think that happened a while back. You’ve gotten pickier, if you can believe it. Some of the foods you used to love you hate now. But you’ve recently started eating salad. Tonight as I was cooking dinner you asked what we were having. I told you it was tacos, and asked if you would eat the beans and tacos. You said, “as long as salad’s involved, I’ll eat anything!” It was shocking. I’m pretty sure it’s the red wine vinegar; you’ve always liked that pickled vinegary flavor.

I made you a strawberry cake for your party, like you asked. Mom decorated it with snowpeople, but couldn’t fit the other people, the hockey sticks, and hockey balls you requested. It’s unclear at what point you became half Canadian or how you even heard about hockey, but I like that you’re taking an interest in sports…? This past fall you took your first ballet class. We’ll probably get you into another one this season, but your favorite thing to do these days is yoga. It’s sort of spendy, but you seem to like it so much we’ll keep taking you. The place near by has 2 classes each week just for kids and you love going. I’m glad you like it. I’m glad you’ve found something you really enjoy doing. The ballet class was tough. There was a kid in there who wasn’t very nice to you and it seemed to ruin the whole experience for you. I hope you go back though. I’m hoping you will try soccer this year, too. Also, you love singing. You are constantly singing. You may not know the words or the tune, but you will definitely sing. It reminds me of my grandfather. I’m glad you got that trait from him. I hope it sticks with you.

Amelia, every day you make me proud to be your dad. I absolutely love the time we spend together. I love when you spontaneously tell me you love me from across the room. I love when people compliment me on you, or your behavior. I love that you enjoy school and like your teachers. I love that you asked me today when you could watch Star Wars…

Happy birthday.