It seems that every year, your birthday gets overshadowed by other events. I'm sorry to say, this year was no exception. For starters, in the week preceding your birthday, your brother broke his arm, your brother had surgery to repair that arm, the Nats were in the play-offs, and your school had its annual Fall Festival. All of these things took up lots of air space in this household. Luckily, you're very loud, and we adore you, so even though we were busy - we did have a great celebration.
Four was a year of obstinance. There were feet stamped, lower lips stuck out, and occasionally even tears. You fell in love with dozens of people, and dozens of people fell in love with you. You developed a sense of style that you fully own. It is clearly meant to attract attention, and you relish in it. You remain a sense of tremendous joy for so many people - most of all, me.
The drama - oh - the drama! I don't think your dad will ever get over the doctor's appointment he took you to yesterday. Apparently, you can scream louder than anyone else in the office, you were willing to duck under a chair to avoid being seen by the doctor, and ultimately, he had to hold you down to get your immunizations. But don't worry. You still claimed victory. You refused the flu shot and nobody was going to tangle with you for this optional one after the mandatory ones had been completed. You were, by the way, proud of the fight you put up.
You don't tend to walk many places, but you do skip and run an awful lot.
You rarely, if ever, shut up when you are awake.
You took dance lessons and though your Grandma Carlene would love to see you continue, 5 looks to be a year of leaving those lessons behind. You'd prefer to learn how to cartwheel and run around more. In a few weeks, you start gymnastics. You are adamant that this is the correct choice.
You learned to dive off the diving board, took a ride on Space Mountain and generally declared that this was the year you would be Connor's equal in everything he attempted.
You found a best friend, and I adore him.
You also gave up your nap! For five full years, you rested reliably nearly every day. Now, you've graduated to "quiet time" which might as well be called "uninterrupted play with babies" since you spend most of the time rocking your various babies and putting them to sleep in you bed or a basket you've brought up to your room as you carefully watch over the brood.
A few days ago, you purchased a wooden flute at a Colonial Fair. On the way home, you asked if you could play your flute during nap. You reasoned that it wasn't you making noise. You were just blowing air. It was the flute making the racket. Well played, Helen. Permission granted.
You embrace life. Life embraces you right back.
We love you, Helen. May your years be long and days be filled with joy.