Now We are Six
When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
- A.A. Milne
To my beautiful, smart, funny, joyous baby girl,
Today is your sixth birthday! You have been talking about your birthday since, well, your last birthday. We threw a party for you on Saturday. You had so much fun running around with your friends and showing off your snake-handling abilities. It amazes me that you are afraid to eat pasta that might possibly have broccoli in it, but you have no qualms about having a python around your neck.
Your dad and I are so proud of you - of all that you are and all that you are becoming. We often wonder what we did with ourselves before you came along. We can no longer remember what we did with our time or our money prior to May 3, 2005. We are not up on current events because the TV is always tuned to shows like "Phineas and Ferb." We can't recall what it is like to order a pizza with toppings more exotic than cheese. Everything revolves around you, and of course we wouldn't have it any other way. The other day you roped your dad into playing Pretty Pretty Princess with you. He doesn't particularly love wearing the plastic jewelry (he was a Marine, after all), but he does it for you. He tends to do stuff with you around the house, whereas I am more inclined to take you out and about. Without you, my social life would be a lot less colorful. We go to festivals and any other special event we can find. Sometimes, we just share a pretzel at the mall or go to the park and swing side by side. We're always doing something, my bouncy sidekick and I. I take advantage of it while I can, because before I know it, you'll be a teenager who finds everything I do embarrassing, including my habit of breathing oxygen.
But for now, you are very much a six-year-old. At work I have your artwork on my cubicle walls; my favorite is a handwritten sign that says "I love you! Mommy! You are cute!" The biggest change from last year is that you can read now. You read like the wind - I've heard you fly through four-syllable words without batting an eye. You've learned so much in school this year. You spend a lot of time "in the yellow" because of your tendency to socialize during learning time, but you seem to have absorbed the lessons somehow.
We can see your personality developing more and more. You're starting to understand the mechanics of humor and the subtleties of sarcasm. You still manage to get me with the "Guess what? Chicken butt!" joke at least once a week. You're very bright and articulate. We really don't have to simplify anything when talking with you.
You are simultaneously independent and dependent. Well, I don't know if dependent is the right word. It's more that you're generally unmotivated to do a lot of things for yourself. We still have to get you dressed most of the time because otherwise, we'd never get out of the house in the mornings. I've offered to start giving you an allowance if you'd like to begin doing a couple small chores around the house. You declined the offer. Speaking of clothing, you still want to wear dresses and nothing else. Sometimes you imply that you may start wearing pants and I always fall for it and buy you a couple pairs at the start of a new season. Then you refuse to wear them.
Happy birthday, baby. I love you so very much.