(Although this blog doesn’t focus on my kids anymore, each year I write a letter to my girls on their birthdays, and I want to share Lexi’s 4th birthday letter here. It’s my sweet, sentimental way of reflecting on their past year of life and documenting my love for them to read in the future. You can read Lexi’s other letters here.)
Dear Sweet Lexi,
Today we are celebrating your 4th birthday! We had a Little Mermaid birthday party this morning, even though you have never seen the movie nor do you ever want to. Why you picked Little Mermaid for your party I will never know… But it was your final choice after changing your mind about 16 times, so we went with it.
While I am a little bit sad that there is no trace of baby left on you, I am delighted with the little girl you’ve become. You love life. You love being outside, blowing bubbles, going to the park, and taking walks. You love reading and coloring. You love dressing up like a ballerina or a princess. You love being a girl: painting your nails, wearing cute dresses and putting on lip gloss. You love to laugh. In fact, you tell me the same two knock-knock jokes every single day, cracking up as you do and expecting me to do the same.
As I think about you, two things really stand out in my mind: you love to learn, and you love people.
I am not exaggerating when I say I think you ask at least 1,000 questions every. single. day. You are curious about EVERYTHING. A lot of your questions are still informational. You want to know what every word means, for example. One time you were watching Curious George on TV, and you said, “Mommy, am I curious?” Yes, little one, you are. You’ve also started asking more spiritual and theoretical questions this year. A couple of months ago, you said, “I bet there will be BIG trees in Heaven. I wonder if Zaccheus will be in one?”
Your mind is always at work. You’ve begun reading some this year. Last week you read 5 books to me and got so excited every time you successfully sounded out a word. You’ve also started adding and subtracting this year. I have no doubt your insatiable curiosity and your eagerness to learn will take you far in life. And when you find yourself accomplishing great things academically, I pray you’re able to feel proud of yourself without feeling like your achievements define you. They don’t. Whether you make straight A’s or straight F’s, whether you get into the college you want or not, whether you become all that you want to be or fall on your face trying, your value will never change. You are worth the very blood of Christ today, tomorrow, and forever.
While your intelligence impresses me, your love inspires me. Without even having to think about it, you genuinely love others. I’ll use your relationship with your baby sister as an example. Not once since Allie came along have you ever been jealous of her or resentful that she “took your place” as the baby of the family. You absolutely adore her. Not one day passes that you don’t tell her you love her, shower her with hugs and kisses, and try to make her happy. You serve her with a joyful heart, getting her cup for her or helping her with a toy. I don’t have to prod you to love her; you just do. I am so thankful for your sweet relationship and pray it will only deepen as you grow up together.
Besides your dad and me, the most important people in your life right now are your grandparents. You are blessed to have all of them within 15 miles, and they are young and healthy enough to spoil you with attention, affection, sweet treats, and gifts. Your mere existence brings a palpable joy to them, and I am thankful you have the opportunity to know them well.
Just as in years past, you’ve surpassed some milestones this year as well. In August you had your first broken bone. You fell down the stairs and broke your left forearm in two places. It was a sad thing, for sure, but you looked so cute in your tiny cast, and you never complained once about being uncomfortable or being unable to do certain activities. You took it all in stride, adapted, and found joy in your circumstances. I pray you will always be that flexible and upbeat no matter what comes your way.
In October I took you on your first trip to the beach. Grandma, Grandpa, you and I drove to Naples, FL, to visit Grandma’s dad. There is no other place on earth where I feel God’s presence so easily as I do at the beach, so I was excited to introduce you to the ocean. And you loved it, too! I so look forward to mother-daughter conversations on the beach in the future.
As you say goodbye to 3 and press on as a 4 year old, I can only imagine what wonderful memories we are going to make. I thank God for the privilege of being a parent, but I thank Him even more for the extra special blessing it is to be YOUR mommy.
I love you, Lexi Lou. Happy Birthday!