Sunday, July 8, 2012

On your FOURTH birthday...

Four. Years. Old. Happy Birthday to the most amazing four-year olds that I have ever met (and, given my profession, I've actually met quite a few!). Our family tradition growing up was that, upon waking up, there was always a present in our room, with a balloon attached, that we could open immediately. I've done this with the girls, but slightly modified since they startled easily as toddlers and get up periodically for bathroom runs now. This morning at 6:15, as I was tiptoeing down the hall to place presents just outside the girls' bedroom door, I heard this conversation:
  • Elise: "abby. Abby. ABBY!"
  • Abby (clearly having just been woken up): "What Elise?"
  • Elise: "Are you SO excited that it's our birthday?"
  • Then, after opening the door and seeing the presents as well as the balloon-filled banister, Elise: "This. Is. So. COOL!"
I want my girls to be happy. I want them to love life. I want them, everyday, to feel special, to feel loved, and to look forward to and appreciate the little things that I, as their momma, can do for them. Presents and balloons outside their door? Check. Appreciated by the birthday girls? Check. We are clearly off to a good start this year with both "little things" and "appreciation"!

Abby - I love the way you walk with purpose. You swing your arms and every footstep is with seriousness and intent. During the weeks leading up to turning four, you have taught me to be a more patient person while we work together on conveying our frustrations calmly and quietly. :) You know the exact moment in conflict to say "Hey Mom?" and, just as I'm ready to reiterate a rule or ask you to use your manners, you quietly say "I just love you". And I just love you, too, in that moment and in every other moment. You, my sweet Abby Rose, are showing me that at the end of the day, it feels so much better to have stopped the tears with a few extra hugs instead of consequences and "no". I often times wish that you were still small enough to be carried around in the ergo - the physical closeness of being held settles you and gives you such a sense of peace. Lucky for you, I love that you love to be held. You are extremely articulate and can rattle off paragraphs at a time flawlessly but when you start making up songs? Oh, the random combinations of vowels and consonants at the top of your lungs puts the whole room in stitches. You have the same effect on Elise - no one can give your sister the giggles like you do and it seems like your "funny bone" tends to strike at the dinner table. You had your own first pet this year: a betta fish named I-Love-You-So Rose Lawrence. You cried when it died. What do you love right now? Babies. Babies with bottles. Babies with pacifiers. Babies. Babies. Babies. Whether we are at the farmer's market, the library, or home depot, you are on baby patrol - pointing out every baby, if there is a pacifier or not, the color of the pacifier, and often an added "awwwww" for effect. What do I love right now? I love you, Abby Rose. 

Elise - I love the way you start stories or statements with "Well...", and both hands open flat, dramatically gesturing the importance of what you're about to say. You love your sister and have recently talked about how Abby is your best friend, which she is quick to agree with. I think you girls are the best kind of friends because you're sisters, but I'm a little biased about you two. When Abby is having a meltdown showing some frustrations, you are quick to give her exactly what she wants, even if it's something of your own. I love how compassionate you are. You still totally freak out about bugs. In fact, I'm just pleased that I can now go into a different room in the house without you stressing about the possible presence of a fly in my absence. Clothing continues to be important to you, you always have a "favorite" dress/shirt/skirt, and just this morning you laid on your bedroom floor clearly communicating your disgust with the outfit I had chosen for your birthday party. You had your own first pet this year: a betta fish named Blueberry Dorothy Lawrence. You made Abby cry when you quickly pulled the handle and flushed her fish away when it died. What do you love right now? Cinderella. Cinderella's blue dress. Cinderella's glass slippers. Cinderella. Cinderella. Cinderella. Your new Cinderella glass slippers are beside your bed right now while you sleep. What do I love right now? I love you, Elise Autumn.

Abby and Elise - You are both reading and writing dozens of words everyday! Your shared love for books is one of the things that I love most about you. More than anything else in this house, it is books that I clean up all. day. long. Books and paper. You are both so content with a stack of paper or a coloring book, a pile of markers, and the company of each other. You are coloring in the lines, writing the names of your family or favorite book characters, and making me very proud. You have both struggled with separation over the past month or two - as babies/toddlers, you were rarely phased when I left. Lately, you've been taking turns becoming upset when I leave you, whether it's for a run, a visit with grandparents, or for your first "class". I love you both for your attachment to me - I guess it's just your turn, as I shed an insane amount of tears, unbeknownst to you, separating from you both for a long time. :) I know this too shall pass. Happy Birthday, my sweet girls. Let there be this much love, and more, throughout the next year.


  1. Beautifully lucky they are to have you as their mother.

  2. Excellent. Happy birthday Abby and Elise! Happy birthing day, Erin.

  3. Mariah - thanks for visiting the blog... and of course for the sweet words. :)

    Erica - It is a celebration for us moms, too, isn't it? My emotions probably run higher on the girls' birthday than theirs! Great to hear from you!