Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Little Belle Turns 6

I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I remember laboring with you and being so excited to meet my little GIRL! I remember when they laid you on my chest and you looked mad at the world,  like you couldn't figure out what just happened. I kept asking the midwife why you weren't crying and she said you were perfectly fine.

I remember your first year of life where all you did was cling to me. You liked and wanted no one but me, and sometimes those days seemed like they would never end. You walked with me, sat with me, slept with me. We were always together.

I remember when you started to gain independence with such fierceness we didn't know what would come of it. No matter how many times your brother knocked you over, you got back up and wanted to keep playing. I remember figuring out how strong willed you were and knowing I would have to handle you in a different way than your brother.

I remember when you started to talk and we finally could hear all the sweet thoughts that went on in your head. When we took you public places you stood back and watched before ever going to play. People were amazed that such a "strong" child would react to public places with a sense of shyness, but this was just another misconception people had about you. You are comfortable around those you know, but it takes time for you to give your heart or energy to those you don't.

I remember the years when you threw huge tantrums. Not because you were a bad kid, but because you longed to do things the way YOU wanted to do them and when you wanted them done. I remember figuring out that holding you and hugging you through a tantrum sometimes did much more than leaving you there alone. I felt so sorry for you that you got yourself so upset.

I remember when you started going to pre-school and found your first friends that weren't your siblings. You truly do love other children who are kind and caring, and can spot an unkind one a mile coming.

This year you are six and I have so many emotions. I am so incredibly proud of who you are becoming. That fierce and independent spirit you had as a child is still present, but you have channeled it into kindness, compassion and servitude. Whatever "strong will" you had as a small child is now starting to serve you to your benefit and it's incredible to watch. You are the first to help me whenever I am in need. You are the first to help anyone in need. You notice when people are sad or hurt or afraid and you run to help. You are an amazing sister to your brother and your smaller siblings. You read to #3 every night, you carry #4 around everywhere she wants to go. You wrestle with your brother, even though there are much funner games you might rather be playing. You have a superbly joyful spirit and you are as creative as they come. These days you love to read and draw and color. You would do projects all day long if I let you. Most days you are homeschooling before homeschooling even starts; doing our math worksheet and handwriting before I have even finished breakfast. You are a natural born leader (which is why you and your brother fight) and love to be in charge of a game. You love nature and flowers and everything pretty. I hope that never changes.

This birthday has also brought me sadness. I know you are only six, so this may seem silly, but you have matured beyond my imagination this year. You no longer need me every moment or want me to solve your problems. You can figure them out just fine by yourself most times. You figure things out about the world in your own mind and then come to me with your conclusions. You won't let me help you pray because you want to figure out your own prayers all by yourself.  You want to forge your own path forward in life, and while I know you will do an excellent job, it's hard to let go of you little by little. This year more than any year, you have let go of me a little more; I am happy and sad and beyond proud of who you are. I love you my sweet Belle. Happy Birthday!

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