To Hannah, on turning four

Dear Hannah,

Today you are four. Four years ago, you made me a mom. I held you for the first time in a surreal fog, soaking in the reality that I was chosen to be your mother.

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Four years ago, really?

Just the other day, in a sentimental moment, I looked in your eyes and marveled, “I can’t believe you’re almost four! You’re getting to be such a big girl!” With equal seriousness you replied, “And since I’m getting bigger, my poops will be bigger.”

Well, true, I guess.

The last year has brought a lot of changes for you. The biggest one – you became a big sister.

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After three years of starring the show, you had to share mommy. And you did considerably well! You are the most enthusiastic big sister and want to do everything for Violet. Change her diaper, pick out her clothes, push her in the stroller, buckle her in the car seat, breastfeed her, pick boogies out of her nose… Of course I don’t let you do all those things, but you are truly a wonderful helper to me. I am so thankful for the smiles and giggles you and Violet share. But Lord help the sister who comes between you and your blankie bear.

You’ve grown up in a lot of ways this year. You walk by the cart in the store! This sounds like a silly thing, but it’s really big for us. A year ago, I was 8 months pregnant and hoisting all 35 lbs of you into the cart seat, and I couldn’t even picture you with the maturity to get through the store on foot. But you got it.

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You’ve always been a pretty good eater, but this year you got even better. You usually swallow your “no thank you” bite instead of spitting it out. You eat more vegetables. And you finally like soup! I love how you will try any food, and you are always eager to help me in the kitchen. You even made dinner yourself one night.

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You crack me up.

I’m thankful for how independent you are – potty solo, dressed completely, carseat buckled, shoes on, backpack packed – if only you could turn on Netflix by yourself, or not. Yesterday, as I was taking extra time soothing a teething Violet down for her nap, you decided to get out all the materials for our “homeschool” lessons and started doing them yourself. And you did a great job!

You don’t need me as much. Or you do, it’s just different. We’ll figure it out.

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I’m looking forward to the the next year as your sister relationship blossoms with Violet, as you continue to grow patience, as God brings out the positives of your spirited personality, as I grow as a mother and gain patience myself. I think this is going to be a big year with some big stuff, but as our pastor handyman said about you, “That girl is going to take on the world.”

Love,
Mommy

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