I’ve been writing love letters to my daughter for almost three years now. I started De Su Mama shortly after Alina turned a year old. At that point, I had no idea how the incredible parenting adventure I’d be taken on would change my life. I had no idea how much I’d fall in love.
As a baby, I was desperate to protect her. As a toddler, I was challenged to develop her. As a preschooler, now, I’m in awe of her. As Alina herself would tell you, we are not friends – I am her mother, and she is my daughter – but I’d be lying if I didn’t say she’s pretty much everything I need in a friend. In one week from today, who once was my tiny baby, and who will surely grow to be the definition of success for my life, Alina will turn four years old. And like many thing in my life at this very moment, I’m not sure how I lucked out so immensely…
Happy 4th birthday! I have so much to tell you. So much to share. I’m happy for the chance to write this love letter to my daughter on her birthday!
The biggest change in our day to day lives has definitely been your attendance at preschool. It’s been 6 months now and you love going, but I have to admit there are changes brewing. You are a smart girl, Alina – not crazy book smart, but you adsorb pretty much anything I throw at you. Between your character and maturity (and your birthday that restricts when you start school) we’re still trying to figure out what’s best for your education. Next year will bring another preschool year (Pre-K), and we’re not sure the direction we plan to take just yet. You might very well stay where you are, but only time will tell…
Speaking of education, in only the last month, at the encouragement of our old friends Ms. Cindy and Baby B, we’ve taken on reading. This was a big deal for me, as I was terrified of teaching you the wrong way, but that was really silly. Learning to read is your 2014 SMART goal, and we’re well on our way with almost 10 sight words under your belt and a firm understanding of phonics. I’m so amazed by you! The first time we were out and about, and you managed to sound out and read a sign, I bust out in tears! My sweet, beautiful girl… I am SO excited for the world of literature to open up for you! I’m so excited for high quality, relevant books to enter our lives and show you how beautiful and lyrical this world can be. Books changed my childhood, and I sincerely hope they impact yours.
While I want to rave about how happy and joyful you are at 4 years old, there are certainly parts of you that are incredibly mature and serious. You can be silly, to be sure, but at your core is a sensitive girl. The person that makes you laugh hardest is definitely Sebastian – he doesn’t have to do much, and he loves it when you do, but wow can that boy send you in an all out LOL fit.
You are also very literal. As I mentioned before, we couldn’t possibly be friends – we’re mother and daughter – and if I give you a rule, you stick to it. If I say we’re going to do something, you hold me to it. You don’t drink soda. You don’t use “lazy words”. All because you agree with a standard I place. You’re principled… and I love it.
You love our family – your dad, me, brother, the dogs and our house, in that order. Every single time. And I love that you love your foundation so much. Even with the exposure of school, you’d still rather be here then anywhere else. You are equally as picky with friends – you still ask for Baby B weekly. You miss your cousins and our friends in California immensely (which is funny because we don’t see them all that often) and our lives aren’t quite as filled with the socialization as you want.
My sweet girl, true friends are vital as you get older – many friendships have come and gone, but the handful of friends that continue to have my back (for as inconsistent and self adsorbed as I can be), are the ones I hold onto tight. Life is hard to balance, you’ll learn this as you get older, and unconditional love comes from those you are related to and not. Unfortunately, we lack in those friendships here in Las Vegas. But I’m working that now, for all of us, in 2014.
My sweet beautiful girl,
I adore your brother. Your daddy is the foundation of my whole life. But 2014 is about you and me. I have big plans for this summer, for the next school year, for today. Plans, big and small, that will connect us and make you grow – in bilingualism, in identity, in knowledge. But also in your understanding that your mom will always be here for you.
The years in which you stay underneath me, hugged tight to my legs for safety and joy or just to drive me crazy, are slowly slipping past me. I want to bottle up this year and keep it close to my heart for the rest of my life. You’re 4 years old, baby girl! And mama is so proud.
Te querio por siempre,