Every year I write my children a letter in honor of their birthday. This letter is in honor of Grace’s 6th birthday.
This past year was a big one for you. You experienced a lot of new challenges and it was stretching for both of us.
First there was preschool. You adapted to going to morning preschool two days a week very well. Your cousin, who was also in your class, became your best friend. You delighted in following the rules, and you learned how to actually do this crazy thing called school.
But then we got the letter from the school that your teacher would be gone for the last three months of the year. Grace, I stood in my kitchen a wept for you as I read that letter. I was so sad that your first school experience was going to include needing to say an early goodbye to a teacher we loved so much. I feared how you would react and adjust, but of course I was pleasantly surprised. You were fantastic.
You started taking ballet and it wasn’t always fun. At first you loved it, but when you started learning how to do leaps and turns it got harder for you. You were nervous about messing up and started dreading going to class. Daddy and I didn’t know what to do.
We debated pulling you out of the class, but we also knew that this experience was good for you. We wanted you to know that you can do hard things and that we were proud of you even if you messed up. Ultimately, we kept you in the class. At the end of the year you performed in the recital. I was so overwhelmed with pride (and a bit of sadness over my little girl growing up) that I cried during your entire song and the next 2 songs after!
We totally expected you to be a nervous wreck when you started swim lessons, but you surprised us once again! You have overcame your fear of getting water in your face and did a fantastic job with your lessons.
On Easter Sunday you requested that we act out the last supper and have communion before our meal. You led us through a kid version of communion complete with grape juice and bread. It was adorable and I hope the tradition sticks.
For the longest time you protested the idea of ever being a mommy. You said it was too much work and you didn’t want to change diapers, but you changed your mind! Now you want to be a mommy and an artist. You’ll be fantastic at both.
Grace, this was the year you learned about death. First Great-Grandpa passed away and then a few months later Great-Grandma died. After much debating, we decided to let you be part of the whole process. You and Noah attended the funerals, the viewings, and the burials.
We were extremely thankful that your first experiences with death could be with great-grandparents that you didn’t have very strong relationships with rather than a grandparent, friend, or sibling. Death is never easy to comprehend, but I pray that this was a good first lesson for you.
You and Noah spent a whole week with Grandpa and Grandma at “Camp Hi-Oh” while Daddy and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary with friends. There were nervous tears from you and me as we planned for this trip, but like many of the things that we were nervous about this year, this experience was extremely good for you. Praise God for grandparents and great memories!
You spent hours and hours riding your bike with Noah on the deck. It isn’t that big of a deck, but you two didn’t care. Along with your bike, some of your favorites this year were Magiclip dolls, markers, crayons, your Elsa & Anna dolls, and your doll house.
And then there was your surgery. Your simple outpatient operation was one more source of stress and worry this year. You recovered very well and your new little belly button is adorable!
Fun Highlights from Your Year:
- Watching Rhett & Link on Good Mythical Morning with Mommy
- First ride on Uncle Kevin’s tractor
- Mastered the monkey bars
- Dressed up as Fancy Nancy for Halloween
- Visited the Crayola Experience and loved it
- Memorized your phone number
- Learned how to pump on a swing all by yourself
- Made adorable handmade Valentines for your preschool class
Grace Renee, this year was huge for you. There were so many new experiences and life lessons that were learned. From your surgery to a week away from mom and dad to preschool, dance class, and swim lessons to learning about death… This year was a big deal.
It was also filled with a lot of big love. You are beautiful, smart, kind, polite, and extremely talented. I am so proud of you and how you handled all the challenges from this year. I look forward to supporting you as you continue taking big steps into this world.