Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Happiness

Dear daughter,

Many days I find myself catching my breath, incredulous that you are in my life. You often wake up in the morning, face framed in golden curly hair, with a glorious grin and announcing the fabulous realization of what the day will bring. "I'm going to see a PLAY!" you yelled one morning. "I have LIBRARY and can get a NEW BOOK!" was another day's observation. You manage to find cause for celebration in the smallest things.

Last week, while dropping off your brothers at their school, you did your usual wander away while I stood near the spot where the third graders line up. As hundreds of children ran around I could hear "Mama!" over the yelling. I turned to find you standing alone in a swirl of children and pointing up at the sky. A flock of birds were flying over head in a perfect, backwards check mark. Eventually other children stopped and stared, yelling "cool!" and "that's a backwards check mark!" You just smiled and went along with your private jumping game.

You continue to amaze me how you get along with nearly everyone you meet. And if they are reluctant, you will get them to like you by force of will. I watched you, with great determination, convince a fellow ballet student to play with you following class. Her father watched in amazement, after she had hidden behind his leg, as she eventually grabbed your hand and ran off shrieking with you. He swore that wasn't in her nature. But there you both were, hanging from a stair bar talking about princesses, or bugs or ballet moves.

However, you are starting to hear when other children are mean to you. Up until now it seemed you didn't, or chose not to, hear mean words. This week at a playground you came sadly up to me after having another girl tell you that you can't play with her and her friends. I can't believe that someone wouldn't want you in their life. I can't believe that someone wouldn't see the fun, joy and laughter that you bring.

But in the end, those people will lose out. Because very quickly you found others at the playground to play with. And you were laughing again. And swinging in the swing so high you could touch the sky.