Over the weekend we celebrated with friends and family as our little rainbow gets ready to turn 4. It was fitting that this special girl was treated to a rainbow themed My Little Pony party with the cake of the century! (6 extremely tall layers of colorful yumminess!). Big shout out and thanks to my friend Blaire of Second Ave Photography for helping me capture the occasion. As I do each year, I’ve written a letter to my little girl. If you want to read what I’ve written to her in past years, her letters are here (1), here (2), and here (3)
In two days you will turn 4. I think you may really be 4 going on 14, but I hate to admit that. Last week, you told me to text your friend from school so we could set up a play date. Since when did you turn into such the social butterfly?!
To me you’re still my baby girl.
Somewhere in the last year, you simply grew up, though. The signature phrase in this house right now is ‘stop growing’ because I think I’d like to bottle you up at 4 years old and keep you here forever.
(that’s isn’t to say you’re a 100% angel — you are also quite stubborn, independent, and free spirited too, which can make life quite the challenge when you want something your way).
Even in spite of all that, our love for you grows each and every day. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but it’s true.
We adopted a dog for you this year, and even though Penny has been a bit more than we ever bargained for, we know she’s made your little life fuller and more magical. She’s taught you (all of us actually) some important life lessons in love, friendship, and companionship.
And we love seeing you soaking in all these lessons and transforming into an incredible girl.
Life is a lot like the jigsaw puzzles you sit for HOURS putting together. Literally hours. One day this month, I watched you put the same 48 piece My Little Pony puzzle together at least 7 times in one afternoon!
In honor of your special day, I’d like to offer 4 more puzzle pieces to you — life lessons I’ve learned from my camera during the past 4 years.
I know they’ll serve you well as you continue living, loving, and learning this year.
But not in that fake, cheesy way. A genuine smile even in the face of anger, sadness, frustration, and resentment will take you far. Not only will a smile help you feel happier as you go about your day, but it’s contagiousness will spread to those around you too.
2) Seek Perspective
Try to see challenges from all sides. Unfortunately, challenge and struggle can never be avoided. And there will be days you’ll need to cry, yell, scream, hide, and grieve. This is part of life, but there is always a glass half full or glass half empty option. I promise, when you explore all the possible perspectives, you’ll get to that glass half full choice a whole lot smoother, and allow gratitude to be your guide making the struggle a bit easier.
3) Find Focus
In other words, do what you love! Focus on where passion, desire, and joy take you. Find that place where time and space slip away and you are living your best possible experience. Experiment and try new things, but land in the space where you are truly and utterly happy to be alive.
4) Act Natural
Be yourself! It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others but it’s wasted energy. You will run into days where you wish you were shorter, taller, skinnier, healthier, more organized, better at dancing, singing, running, biking, golfing. Whatever the case may be, don’t fall into the ‘wish’ trap. There are a lot of things you will wish you could do or be, but it’s important to celebrate who you are!
Loving, smart, silly, giggly, playful, stubborn, mature, independent, spirited, creative, special, caring.
You are amazing, little one.
Here’s to another year of living an amazing life together!