Hey, Sweets, you turn four today!
When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me, “I hope you get a girl JUST like you someday!” She usually said this when I was in trouble, but I know now that she meant it for all the joyful reasons, too. And you know what? In so many ways you ARE just like me. I can understand you in a way your dad can’t, and it’s because we share the same thought processes, sensitivities, and compassion. You drive him crazy sometimes, and I’ve started to almost take it personal because all those things that drive him wild? Yeah, I get it. I know where it comes from and I just have so much empathy for what goes on in your amazing little head and ginormous heart.
Maybe because we are so alike, you have become a total mama’s girl these past few months. It used to be you wanted me when you were sick, but otherwise either mom or dad would do. But these days it is all mom all the time. You call your times with me “Mama Time” and I call them the best parts of my day. You tend to be extremely affectionate with me, often just stopping by to plant three kisses (each cheek then the lips) before continuing on your way. You used to talk a lot about being a mom someday, and I’d enthusiastically support this notion and tell you I’d love to be a grandma someday. You thought about this some more and now consistently announce you want to be a mom with no kids. You don’t want to have kids because then I’ll be a grandma. You haven’t quite grasped that no matter what else I may be, I will ALWAYS be your mama.
You spent one morning a week at gymnastics most of this past year. At first you were shy and observant, declining to participate at times. Then you started preschool- oh, how you love school- and you blossomed. Suddenly you are friendly and braver than ever before in all areas of your life. After a few quarters of gymnastics you decided to give ballet a shot. I adored taking you to our local dance shop and picking out tutus and ballet shoes and I will never forget how proud I was on that first day when you didn’t bat an eye as I slipped out the door, leaving you with your new class and instructor. I peeked in later and you were prancing around with a little stuffed animal on your head to practice your balance. You truly are coming into your own, and I’m so lucky to be along for the ride.
You continue to love all things space, especially the moon- your Luna. On the first day of preschool I asked you what you wanted to be and you shouted “An astronaut!” without hesitation. You search the sky for the moon nightly, and study the apps your dad downloaded on the tablet for you. You know all the planets by sight, and most of the moons, and you like to tell me about the satellites like Pioneer. I think we can go ahead and call it: you know way more about all this stuff than I ever have and likely ever will.
You continue to love to play dress up and pretending to be a princess. You have dozens of costumes to choose from but you pretty much insist on being a princess at all times. When you play, we all have to play along with you. Depending on your character, we all have our supporting roles to play. You always include your brother, and its the cutest thing I’ve ever seen- his Gus-Gus to your Cinderella. That boy loves you, Hayley, and you’re a lucky girl for it.
You’ve discovered Tinkerbell and fairies this year and lately we’ve been watching a Tinkerbell movie daily (at least).
You still love to read. Some of your current favorites are the Olivia books, the Pinkilicious books, and your various Disney collections that we read from nightly.
This past Valentine’s Day you made me a card at school that I’ll keep forever. Your teacher asked you what you like to do with me and you had her write down, “I like to bake cookies and cupcakes with sprinkles and cherries on them with my mom. I love snuggling in bed in the morning for ‘Mama Time’.” That bit about baking? That has been a concentrated effort on my part since you were little. I LOVE to cook and bake with you, and we do so regularly. The fact that it is starting to mean as much to you as it always has to me? Indescribable.
I talk to you about the future a lot, Hayley. Sometimes it’s the near future, our plans for the week or how we hope to move this summer, but we talk about the more distant future often, too. We talk about where you want to go to college. You have your wedding all planned out. When we talk about these far away days I inevitably ask you, again, what you want to be when you grow up and your answer these last few months hasn’t wavered, “I just want to be me. I want to be Hayley.”
And Hayley, my love, is all I ever want you to be. Happy Birthday, sweetheart.