Dear Alice Mayhem,
Where does the time go? One day you'll understand. People tell you that life flies by but having kids... the days are so so so long but the years are SO short. It seems like just last week you were on my chest for the first time and you were so angry and you yelled so hard and I just laughed and laughed at the perfection of you. And now here you are, at your 4th birthday, so bold and blonde and sassy and brave and kind.
Three was a great age. It has been my favorite so far. I said that about 2 as well so I'm sure I'll love 4 too. But 3... three was independence and dressing yourself and imagination and so much twirling. Three was an obsession with superheroes and the color red and Frozen, especially Anna. Three was conversations for the first time and your first big girl bed (in red, of course!) and learning to spell your name and draw little stick figure potato people. Three was an adventure. Even when you were screaming FINE! at me and stomping your little feet after hearing 'no' about something, you were such a sparkling little thing. Three has been goofy smiles and kitten snuggles and playing Mommy and writing pretend letters to people and so many firsts. Three has been the year of asking 'why?' to everything, the year of wanting to learn to read like big brother, the year of taking leaps into deep water.
Four will be our last year home together and that's something I dread. You have never been away from me. My heart is being prepared to send you off to school in a year. I know that you are going to be in so much trouble! You will never take anyone else's sass and I love that about you. I know that you will take care of yourself. You are bossy and I hope you never lose that because bossy women mean business and bossy women take care of things and bossy women don't take crap and I want for you to never take anyone else's crap.
Four is also the last year I can protect you from everyone else's words. You are the most confident person I have ever met. Frequent phrases from your mouth include- 'Wow, I'm awesome!' or 'I'm so cool!' or 'I am big and strong!' and I hope that you hold onto that forever. There will be so many people who try to tell you that you aren't strong and important and beautiful and special and cool but you are THE COOLEST. Just being a woman, people are going to try to shush you and I hope you keep all of this loudness you have at 3 because you deserve to be heard and you have important things to say! Take up space. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you don't deserve this space that you've carved out in the universe. You are special. You are important. You are a miracle. Make waves! Make huge gigantic waves in the world because you can and because you want to. There is only one of you and the only person who can diminish who you are is YOU. Always know that there are 2 people in this world that think you are the most beautiful thing on the planet and every time we see you laugh or twirl or smile or yell or sass or sing or sleep or stuff your face, it takes our breath away.
You are growing so much faster than I imagined you would. It goes by so fast and it's so bittersweet. I love seeing you become a tiny human with morals and compassion and thoughts and independence but teaching you all of these things is just pushing you further out into the world and one day I'll have done my job and you'll be gone. A huge piece of my heart will always go with you. My love will always find you.
You are 4! I can't believe you are 4. And you know what, Alice? You are AMAZING. You are made of star stuff. There is only one of you and there could never be another. You're fantastic. You make us so much braver. Happy birthday, my brave little beastie.
Be blessed, my darling girl. I delight in you.
Love always and always and forever and then some,