Thursday, August 15, 2019

Dear Lara, today you're 5.

Well, here we are again.  You see, I have a love hate relationship with time.  I'm sure we all do.  We beg it to speed up when we're waiting for something exciting, and then plead with it to slow down when we're smacked in the face with milestones we're not quite ready to accept.

Like my little 6 lb baby who was too small for newborn clothes, turning 5.  Like, wait, she was just born yesterday?!

F.I.V.E.  It feels so big to me...

I know there are mom's reading this, silently laughing because you just sent your daughter off to college and here I am whining about my baby turning 5.  Trust me, I get it.  I'm sure I'll laugh at all the preschool moms, too, someday.

But today is not that day.

Lara, raising you has been the hardest thing I've ever experienced and at the same time, the thing I'm most proud of in this world.

You feel things so big, daughter.  SO, so big.  From your little sister wearing your dirt stained, purple flip flops, to seeing a microscopic insect 700 yards away, to being told it's time for bed.  To you, these things are the end of the world. The things that upset you these days, you feel them deep within your soul and have the tears to show for it.

But what that also means, is that you love SO, so big.  When we found out the Lord was blessing us with another baby girl, we weren't sure how you'd take it.  But turns out, you may be a better mom to Sadie than I am.  You love your baby sister with your whole heart, and watching you two together is my greatest joy.  My GREATEST joy!

I often hear you talking to her in the morning, convincing her to let you pick out her outfit.  And like any good little sister, she always obliges. You put her in a frilly dress, just like you.  You then patiently help her put on her shoes, buckling them for her because her little fingers still can't maneuver the tiny buckles, and then you proudly bring her into our room to show her off.

She is your real life baby doll, and thankfully Sadie loves every second of it, too.  She looks up to you more than you'll ever know.  She loves being in your room, watching you at your big girl vanity brushing your hair.  I'll never forget the morning you fixed her hair for her so it would look just like yours.  That picture will forever be engrained in my heart because I was so proud of you. You welcome her adoration instead of letting it annoy the hell out of you.  Daughter, at times you are wise beyond your years.

You have become so perceptive, watching and observing your surroundings along with listening to every single word that comes out of your father and I's mouth.  Whether we want you to listen or not, YOU ARE.  And man, it makes you HOT when we spell things in front of you.  Remember when I said you feel things "so big," well, us spelling words in front of you ticks your little heart off.  You always want to be in the know and it frustrates you to no end that you can't quite figure out what we're spelling.

My favorite time with you is when you're in a talkative mood, spilling all your secrets you store in your great, big imagination.  Some of my favorite moments are laying next to you in bed while you tell me all about what's going on at school, with your friends, and lately....with your boyfriends.

Yeah, boyfriends. Like, when did that start?

The other day you told me you were going to marry Tucker, the new boy at your school.  Now, whether you've talked to Tucker about this or not, that's still up in the air.  But you could care less, which I adore about you.  You know what you want, and that's that.

The outside world sees you as a timid little girl because it takes you awhile to warm up to people, the complete opposite of myself.  I warm up too easily, which has resulted in my heart being hurt when the person turns out to be not what I expected.  But you, you're a slow burn.  You make people earn your trust and I admire that about you.

You challenge me everyday to see the world differently.  You've taught me patience.  And most of all daughter, you've allowed me to feel a love so deep it knocks the breath out of me at times. I feel it when I look at you and watch the little girl you're becoming right before my eyes.

When I was a little girl, my mom (your grandma!) wrote me a note that I still carry in my wallet today.

"Dear Annie,

I hug you in my heart & pray your journey is peaceful as you go. 
You have to be the greatest daughter any mom could have! 
You truly are my sunshine!

Love you beautiful,

To my Lara, my beautiful girl, I pray the same for you.  I will hug you in my heart all the days of my life. Happy 5th birthday, baby!