Charlotte turned 5 years old on Friday. I can hardly believe it. She’s definitely not a baby anymore, but of course I will continue to call her my baby, protest though she may. 🙂 I have loved to see how Charlotte has grown over the past year. We don’t have nearly as many tantrums and battles as we used to, and even though we went through a rough stretch with her fighting bedtime, she is a rock star about going to bed and has been for many months (probably no doubt due to the fact that we let her look at books in bed after lights out as long as she is quiet).
Charlotte at 5 is genuinely fun to be around—sweet, thoughtful, kind, affectionate, and delightfully silly. Some of the things she says and does crack me up. She loves making up nonsensical songs and prancing around the house. She loves stories (and in fact she told me she will always love stories—rock on, daughter!) and gets so emotionally invested in them, which is why sometimes movies or books are too much for her to handle. We recently finished reading through our first chapter book, A Little Princess, and while I was worried that we’d have to stop after how she cried when Sarah’s father died, she wanted to keep reading it and ended up loving it. We then read Sarah, Plain and Tall (I promise we don’t just read books about people named Sarah), and she loved that also. We’re now reading A Secret Garden, and I’m already trying to figure out what book to read with her next! Even though it sometimes drives me crazy when she interrupts me to ask a question while I’m reading, I love that she’s really thinking about what she’s hearing and working to understand it. She can’t wait for the day when she can read books to herself, and recently she’s been obsessed with sounding out words to figure out what they start with. One of the gifts we got her was a gift card to Books-a-Million, and it was so fun watching her excitement at getting to pick out her own books.
We had Charlotte’s birthday party at a local bouncy house place on Saturday, and it was the first party where she got to invite friends. I was nervous because it was going to be a blend of church and school friends, but she had a blast, and so did all of the kids who went, as far as I could tell. Watching her run and play with her friends was so much fun. I’m going to be so sad when Charlotte starts kindergarten and has to leave the school she’s been at since she was 7 weeks old. I’m praying already for God to give her one or two best friends in her kindergarten class so she won’t be lonely. That is one thing about Charlotte: she loves to be around people and really hates to be alone. How she is like that is beyond me, since her dad and I are both introverts who value alone time, but she prefers to hang out with us instead of playing with toys or doing things on her own. Sometimes her inability to be alone makes me want to pull my hair out, but I remind myself that one day I won’t be the one she’ll want to be with, and so I try to cherish our time together.
I look at my girl these days and can’t believe how grown up she looks, and I pray that as she continues to grow she will keep her tender heart and her joy. I pray that she will have confidence in who God has made her to be and that she will love Him all of her days. I pray she will know how much she is loved and will love fiercely in return. I pray that she inherited all of my good traits and none of my bad ones. And most of all, I pray that she will come to know Christ and live to make Him known. Happy birthday, my sweet girl. Here’s to many more!