Happy 5th Birthday to my beautiful and amazing daughter Anya! I cannot believe you are 5 years old already. But here you are, in kindergarten and reading on your own, wanting to pick out your own clothes, insisting that the only acceptable adjective to describe anything is “pretty beautiful”, and loving any reason to dance, sing, or throw a party. You remind me of a mixture of two of your favorite TV show characters: Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba! and Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And maybe all that slightly spastic joy over the little things and the high pitched voice you use when speaking to babies would annoy the bajeezus out of some people, but I find it all to be endearing and a symptom of the rose colored glasses through which you view the World around you.
I hope you never lose that joy and optimism that everyone can be the best of friends and every day holds at least one reason to shout hooray and jump up and down giggling with glee. There are people that will try to take that from you, but I know that you’re stubborn enough to make it hard for them. You’re my little diva who always wants to be the star of the show but would never deny anyone the chance to be the star of their own or to share in yours if they are without. You are the only kid I know who at 3 years old was excited to pick out gifts for other children’s parties and sit to watch as they opened presents, anxiously waiting with a smile to see if they liked what you chose. You still do that, and I love it so much. It makes me feel like despite the days we deal with tantrums and moments of entitlement from the excess we sometimes give you, that somewhere along the way we are doing something right.
You walk up to kids you’ve never met in the store and offer them one of the toys you are carrying to play with and ask if they want to play together. You light up like nothing I’ve ever seen when it’s time to go out on stage for one of your ballet recitals, and I know that love is something you’re going to carry for a long time. You love your baby sister so much it’s almost too much sometimes, and you never want to leave her alone or stop playing with her so she can take a nap. You are equally Daddy’s girl and mine and love to spend time with both of us making memories whether it’s watching Pokemon with Daddy or baking in the kitchen with me.
You love going to the movies and having popcorn and M&M’s, riding in public transportation like trains and trolleys, and anything dessert even stuff I wouldn’t have touched as a kid that has almonds or peanuts in it. You can hardly be considered picky anymore as you’ve decided in the past year to be a “big girl” and now eat several green vegetables including spinach and broccoli – even requesting seconds of the latter. You’ve branched out to soup, bacon, mashed potatoes, rice, and more that I thought you would never touch.
I’m so proud of the big girl you’ve become as I watch you grow more determined to succeed at everything you do no matter how small or large the task. You’re going to do great things one day because you won’t take “no” or “it’s too difficult” for an answer. As far as you’re concerned, you can do it all. Even be a “ballerina princess queen mommy fireman” when you grow up. And it won’t surprise me the least when somehow you do. Mommy and Daddy love you so very much, Anya. Stay hopeful, confident, and loving towards others. You’re amazing in everything you do. Happy Birthday, my first baby girl.