An ecstatic fourth birthday for Avery!

Dear Avery,

Notice that I didn't wish you a plain old 'happy' birthday in the title of this post.  At four years old, you feel with such passion and wild abandon that I needed a really strong synonym for happy.  

I want you to know that every minute of every day that I recognize that you are an amazing little person.  And while at this point in your life you are sometimes challenging, you also always continue to be a joy to watch as you grow and develop.  

I mentioned your passion and intensity - this goes for both the positive and the negative.  No one else I know gives tighter hugs or longer kisses than you do.  No one else I know can revel the way you do in the simple pleasures be it a great tasting strawberry, a beautiful flower or a really funny joke.  And no one else I know will wail with true empathy when you see someone else in pain.  This is not to say that your passion is without its dark side.  You are also in touch with anger and the simplest instances of not having things exactly as you would like them will have you shouting "I. Am. ANGRY."

Your teacher, Morah Rachelle says that you are independent.  I would say that you like having your own way so much that there is no way that you would be a part of a group where you had to go along with the team.  Hopefully, you will retain your strong sense of self as you grow, but will learn the value of being a part of a group.

I have written a lot about your spirit and your will.  I think this is so much of who you are and you will always be.  But I would be remiss if I didn't mention that at 4 years old you are becoming quite an academic - you can write your name and most of your letters, you love trying to spell words and count as high as you can.  And at 4 years old you also continue to be a beautiful little girl.  People stop me on the street to tell me that you are remarkably stunning.  I try not to let you hear it, I want you to feel special because you are smart and funny and driven and not just because you are truly pretty.  Hence my hatred for Barbie and Rapunzel and Disney princesses and all the other toys that you enjoy playing with so much.  But as I let your brother have nerf guns and do not believe that he will grow up and shoot guns, I also let you have your Barbie dolls, believing that you will not grow up to be a vapid, simpering fool.

In later years, what I hope you remember most about being 4 years old is feeling loved and safe and happy.

Wishing you the most ecstatic of birthdays.

I love you with all my heart,

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