Sunday, February 14, 2010
My first baby is six now. SIX. Not to be dramatic, but this fact astounds me. I see her growing and changing every day but I can't seem to get my mind around the idea that just the other day I was rocking her to sleep and now she's rocking out to Hannah Montana. Excuse me, make that Selena Gomez.
Claire has changed so much this year, toeing the line between "little kid" and "big kid," that nearly every day she surprises me with some new trick or mannerism that she's picked up. Just this morning, she came running into my room to tell me she learned to tie her shoes. And she had. After trying to master this task for months, she finally picked it up by watching a bigger kid tie her shoes the night before. If that's all it takes for Claire to learn something new, please remind me of that when it's time for driving lessons.
She has recently discovered sponge rollers and asks me to roll her hair every night. Every night. Every. Single. Night. And I do it, because it makes her happy and confident to see herself with curly hair and if I can relate to anything, it's having good-hair-induced self esteem.
She wants to pick her own clothes and is a big fan of any article of clothing that bears a peace sign. She has turned her back on the beautiful smocked dresses I love so dearly and instead wants to wear leggings and scarves and zebra striped tennis shoes. She has a very clear sense of who she is and I love that.
She is a reader. Junie B Jones is a particular favorite, but she loves all books, preferring them to toys and games. She has always been this way. Even as a toddler, she would gather a huge pile of books, find a quiet spot and "read" to herself. Now she can actually read the words, instead of just making up a story to go with the pictures. I find this, in particular, to be one of the most bittersweet parts of watching her grow up this year.
She is a writer. If we are leaving the house, even for just a quick errand, she makes sure she has a tote filled with notebooks, pens and books (these, in addition to all the other random things she fills her bags with--magic 8 ball, McDonald's toys, playdoh). She writes sentences that aren't quite stories. She writes apologies after she has misbehaved. She writes notes to an imaginary classroom of students and signs them "Mrs. Claire". She sounds out her words, pressing her pen heavily on the paper as she phonetically spells what's on her mind. I will grieve when this stage of haphazard spelling and misshapen letters passes.
She is growing up, no doubt about it, but at night, after the last prayer has been said, she always asks me to tickle her back and tell her a princess story. It's my favorite time of the day with her, and you can be sure, long after she stops asking for the stories, I'll still be telling them to her. That's one stage I'm not willing to let go.
Happy birthday, Claire Bear!