You said to me the other day that as soon as you turned 5, you didn’t need naps anymore. Just let you go being awake all day, and it’ll be just fine.
So we tried it out, and for two days you were the grumpiest, most tired little human. You weren’t very pleasant to be around, you know. So we instead came to the understanding that naps during the week days are good, weekend naps are optional. You seem okay with that.
Except when you’re not.
Now that you’re five, when you introduce yourself anywhere we go, it’s “Hi! I’m Maelie. I’m five! I’m going to kindergarten this year!” But before that, on the day you turned 5, you couldn’t understand why we were dropping you off at preschool.
“MOM. DAD. I’m FIVE now. Why am I still in preschool?”
Of course explaining it to you, that while you may be five now, you can’t just jump into the middle of the school year, you looked at me like I had ten heads, and seemed mildly irritated, but you shrugged your shoulders and marched off to school.
There are about a million things I want to tell you, but you already know them. From the moment you were born, you’ve been that child of mine that has a natural understanding of everything. And while, of course, I have to still stop and explain things to you, most times I’m halfway through explaining and you’re all, “Yup, mom, I’m good now, got it,” and run off while I’m standing there thinking, but do you?
You probably do.
Despite the fact that I have to remind you at least 20 times a day to put the cat down, or brush your hair, or not to leave your shoes in the middle of the floor, or for god’s sake put the cat down, you know your stuff. It took you all of 5 minutes to figure out how to play Monkey Math and now I can ask you basic math questions and you fire them back as quickly as I ask them.
You also, have gained my awesome skills of memorization. However, remember that memorizing a word doesn’t mean you can read it. Seriously. Learn from me. I figured that out the hard way.
But I do love your ‘reading’ of Captain Underpants. Your animation and different voices for different characters is probably the best part.
You have also learned to be a very good big sister. One thing was for sure, well before Audrey, you never acted like the youngest. You needed someone to boss around. Now, Audrey really doesn’t like being bossed, so you have figured out how to get her to do things she otherwise wouldn’t want to do, simply by making it seem as though she came up with the brilliant plan. You especially stick to that story when I don’t think it’s a very brilliant plan and yell.
You’re always singing or dancing or ‘being fabulous.’ It’s rare that you’re ever in a bad mood. I mean, you can be, and when you are, watch out, but usually you’re all smiles and positivity.
I learn a lot about you just by watching what you do. You’re very social, but don’t mind playing alone. When someone says something mean to you, you typically shrug it off. Especially your brother. You don’t take much personally, you just smile and go about your day. There are times I wish I could be more like you. Your directness and your lack of caring what other people think. I mean, I know you’re only five, but at this point, most kids get upset when someone isn’t nice to them. Not you. You find someone else to play with instead. To heck with them, then.
I love you, Maelie. From the movement I met you, I have loved you. With your big eyes and even bigger personality, you have a way of naturally lighting up a room simply by being present.
Every year I say this, and every year I mean this:
You’re the sweetest, most incredible little five year old I know. Please don’t ever change. You can grow, but don’t change who you are. Because as I always say, Miss Mae, who you are is my very favorite thing.
Happy (belated) birthday.