happy 5th birthday, kaya!

Dear Kaya,

I’m writing this on your birthday eve, and I’m feeling all sorts of emotions over the fact that in a few hours, you will be FIVE years old! I have no idea how that much time has already passed. Today, I told you a little bit about your birth story (now that you’re a little older and can understand), and how excited we were to have you come to our family. Of course, I also needed to write this letter to tell you a little bit about what you’re like at this age.You are so smart. Homeschool is your favorite thing ever, and according to you, it’s because, “I get to stay home with you! I would miss you if I went to real school”. You are already reading (and comprehending) sentences, and I’m so proud of you and all your hard work. We’re about three quarters of the way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons¬†now, and you continue to surprise me with how fast you learn. We’re also halfway through your kindergarten math program, and you are loving that as well. I’m so grateful that you enjoy learning and working hard.

You are my big helper. You help me watch over your little sisters, and you’re always doing things to make daily life a little easier. You love to dress Nella, help water my flowers, and vacuum. You hang the cloth diapers up to dry when they’re done washing, and usually, you tell me you help out “because I love you!” I love that you already see a connection between serving others and loving them.

Because you’re the oldest, you are the ring leader. You come up with some elaborate pretend-play scenarios, and help Kaelyn form her character roles in them. You have the ability to get everyone completely hyped up and crazy, too.

Dancing and singing are two of your favorite things to do. Your current favorite “kid music” includes the Frozen soundtrack, the Laurie Berkner band (especially “The Goldfish”), and songs from Daniel Tiger. You also really like country music and are a big fan of Old Dominion right now.

I hardly let you watch any television, but your current favorite show is Blues Clues.

You and I are still very much alike, and I don’t think that will change anytime soon. We have a lot of the same little quirks, and in a way, it makes it so easy for me to understand how you’re feeling and know the thought processes you go through. Sometimes, I think having so much in common can make it so that you and I frustrate each other a little, but in the end, we both know we share some special qualities, and I think that as you get older, those things will help us to stay close to each other.

Kitties are still your very favorite thing in the whole world. That same old raggedy Kitty stuffed animal still goes everywhere with us, and he’s still a pretty integral part of many of your pretend-play scenarios. You especially need him when you’re feeling sad or tired, and when you hold him as you fall asleep, you stroke his tail with your finger to soothe yourself.

Other favorite kitties include Hello Kitty and any rainbow-colored cats.

You love creatures of all kinds, no matter how small, and are even enthralled by various insects (unless they’re flying near you, then, you scream). You have such a tender heart and truly care for anything living. We’ve planted seeds that grew into plants that ended up dying, and you cried. You very much love taking care of things.

You think you don’t need a nap anymore, but you still have some quiet time in your room each afternoon. You probably still end up falling asleep about twice a week on average.

I’m really proud of you for your desire to eat healthy so you can grow “big and strong”. Your typical lunch includes half of a PB&J, a Greek yogurt (Key Lime flavor is your favorite),¬† and a small salad. You also love broccoli, spaghetti with homemade sauce, and my whole-wheat chocolate chip muffins.

The beach is your favorite place to go, and you were so happy when we told you we were going this past summer. You loved every moment of it this year.

You are an artist. You love to draw, write, send “letters” to people (real and fictitious individuals), paint, cut, glue… all of it! I love your need to create.

The rainbow obsession is still going strong. Very strong.

You’re also obsessed with babies. You pretend to have at least one baby every day, so by now, you’d surely be a mother to hundreds of imaginary kids. You want to be a mommy when you grow up, and I certainly look forward to seeing you with your real children. Don’t ever doubt that you were made to be a mother, Kaya.

You also tell me that you want to be a runner when you grow up, just like Mommy. When we’re out on a walk and you start jogging, you always tell me, “I’m getting my exercise!” You also love to run pretend “races” around the house.

You pretend to take photos with your imaginary camera all the time. You put your hands over your eyes, in kind of a triangle shape, and then you move the top point of your fingers up and down as if you’re clicking the shutter. I love it.

You love singing church songs, and going to Primary on Sunday is one of your very favorite things. I love how much you already love the gospel.

Family is so important to you. You have such a deep, innate love for not only your immediate family, but also your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Still, deep down, you are a daddy’s girl through and through. When he’s home, he’s who you want to hang out with and have help you with anything you need.

You love to have your picture taken, and I love having someone so willing to pose for pictures.We love you so much, Peeky. Thank you for making us parents.

Love, Mommy