Hi sweet bear! Happy 59 months to my almost-five-year-old almost-in-kindergarten girl. You are fresh off of your first week of summer break, and I just hope you don’t start thinking every week will be like last one. Your Daddy and I took a trip for our 10th anniversary and left you in the care of Nana and Granddaddy, who took you to Dollywood, the zoo, on a fossil dig, a children’s museum, the hair salon, a movie, a tour of nearby caverns and the list goes on. And since Nana and Granddaddy can’t make it to Savannah for your birthday, they even squeezed an early birthday celebration into the schedule. Now that was a busy week!
Not only did they keep you too busy to miss us, but they kept you too busy to miss Pre-K, too. One day I’m sure you’ll welcome the end of the school year and embrace summer break like I did as a child. Even though I liked school, there was something delicious about knowing I had two months to just play. You are excited about the prospect of summer break, but also apprehensive about leaving your pre-k class behind. I don’t blame you – it was a great year and I’m going to miss that class, too.
The last week of school, your teacher sent home a bag full of classroom work, including two self-portraits. One of them you did in September just as the school year was beginning.
The other you completed just four months later. What a difference those months made in your drawing!
You continued to receive accolades this month for the collage you made back in the beginning of the year – the collage that won in a district-level competition. We were invited to an end-of-year awards ceremony where you received your very first trophy for that accomplishment. You were so excited! Your name was the first to be called in your division, and you practically ran down the aisle of the big auditorium to claim your prize.
As you climbed the stairs of the stage there was an audible murmur from the crowd, delighted to see someone so young (and so darn cute) grabbing hold of her shiny trophy. You had to stand on that stage for quite a while as the other names were called, and I was only a tiny bit nervous watching you up there. I think you grew tired of holding the trophy and kept trying to balance it on your arm when you weren’t using its shiny surface as a mirror.
Between that and some general fidgeting I had my fingers crossed that neither you nor the trophy would come tumbling to the ground. But I needn’t have worried. You triumphantly marched off the stage with your trophy at the appropriate time with all dignity and pride intact.
I’m very proud of all you accomplished this year – we couldn’t have asked for more from you. I’m already excited to see what you will learn next year in kindergarten, and I think you are too.
When I picked you up after the last day of school, we celebrated the same way we did on the first day – with ice cream and buddies at a neighborhood restaurant. We followed that with a Sand Gnats baseball game – the perfect way to officially kick off summer break.
And while I imagine most people wait until summer break begins to do most of their traveling, we took a trip last month before school was out because we just couldn’t wait a minute longer. Your cousin Eli was born in early May and we needed to get our hands on him!
When you found out several months ago that Auntie E was having a baby, you began playing more with your own baby dolls. “I’m practicing,” you told me, “so when we go to Boston I can hold Eli.”
When the day of our trip finally arrived, throughout all the driving and flying and changing planes and flying and driving some more, you repeated, “I can’t believe I get to hold Eli today!” Finally, your moment arrived, and it was a very sweet one.
The cuddling was brief though, because unlike your baby dolls, real babies tend to wiggle and maybe even cry. So before long, another set of eager hands (mine!) had snagged Eli from you and your focus turned to Jones. I love this picture – you are being so silly and wild, clearly amusing your cousin with those crazy eyes. Happiness.
We took the two of you to a farm in a nearby town with more animals to pet than we had time to pet them – utopia for animal-lovers like you and Jones. Here you two are in the “cuddle corner” where a few sleepy calves didn’t seem to mind your affection.
You had a chance to brush a baby goat that was only a day old, play on construction equipment, ride ponies and more. It was a great day.
My love, I can hardly believe the next time I write to you, you will be another year older. But I’ll wait one more month before I get too sentimental about all that… Instead, I’ll close with something you already know, but something I don’t get tired of repeating.
I love you so much sweet girl. So much.