Monday, January 3, 2011

To Camdyn on her 5th Birthday

Dearest Cam,
This morning Daddy and I woke you up with the happy birthday song.  We let you pick out your special birthday outfit and you couldn't wait to get dressed.  You chose your polka dot, twirly dress, with pink leggings and your brand new pink cowgirl boots and your toothless grin was your accessory. 

At exactly 7:29 this morning I smothered you with birthday kisses.  For your entire birth minute daddy and I took turns kissing your not-so-chubby cheeks and loving on you.  You squirmed and giggled and enjoyed every moment of it.

Today is your special day.  Today is my special day.  Five years ago today, you taught us what love is.

I think for that very reason your birthday will always hold a special place in my heart.  You are our firstborn.  You are the one that taught us what life is all about.  You taught us that love can make your heart explode with joy and can also harbor with it the greatest worry and grief imaginable.  You taught us about responsibility and commitment.  You've showed us our weaknesses and inadequacies, yet loved us as though we could move the world.  You are the one that made us a family.

Today, I look back upon your babyhood and I smile.  Those newborn nights that seemed to last forever surely didn't.  How quickly they passed.  Our night-time rendezvous now revolve around sips of water and trips to the potty and spoken "I Love You's." 

You need me less but I love you more.

It's getting harder and harder for me to remember specifics about your babyhood, your first words, how much you talked, when you were potty trained, etc.  And while those might be trivial milestones in the grand scheme of things, one thing is for certain, you are who you've always been. 

A tough and jovial toddler has yielded way to a pre-schooler who is much the same.  You never cared much for crying even when you took spills that made my heart skip a beat.  You rarely tantrumed as a toddler and took well to reasoning and rational thought.  You've learned well from that.

You are my negotiator.  You present your argument and you try your best to get me to change my mind.  You make it extraordinarily difficult to stand my ground.  But, I do, and your response is "Bummer."  Yes, my love, Bummer. 

I see myself in you.
There is a piece of me that is not sad to say good-bye to the 4's.  As with every stage its had its highs and lows.  I've enjoyed your extensive imagination, and your ability to hold a fluid conversation.  I've enjoyed your memory and love listening to you re-tell events from years passed....that always boggles my mind.  But, with this stage came serious boundary testing, bedtime battles, and defiance.  I think it's par for the course, and I also think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This year you'll head off to Kindergarten.  I'm excited for you, and although I may cry as I pull away from your school, I will not worry about you.  You are a social butterfly.  You make friends at every play date and every trip to the park.  I believe this to be a genetic trait.  You will be just fine in Kindergarten.  You will make your own way.

I see myself in you.

And, while this year may bring with it scores of change and your world will open up far bigger than the rooms at pre-school and at home, I trust you.  I trust you to say the right things, to do the right things, and to make the right choices.

Yesterday, I questioned you.  Someone had moved my bamboo plant from the counter to the table.  I asked you if you did it and you cracked a smile and then said, "I didn't do it.  Someone else did it."  I said, "I hope you are telling me the truth."  You replied, "I am telling the truth."  Daddy confirmed that he moved the plant so it could get better light and I rewarded you with a special piece of chocolate for telling momma the truth.  And, I hope you always do.
So, big girl, as you look over your shoulder at me quickly as you forge ahead to a world of unknown possibility, always remember how much Daddy and I love you.  Remember that our hopes for you are endless and trust that we always have your best interests at heart.  There will be a lot of growing up that you do in the coming year.  Part of me looks forward to it and part of me dreads it.  You'll always be my baby, my first baby, and the one who changed my life.  So, press on my head strong and bold little girl.  Make your waves in the world and always remember exactly who you are.  We couldn't be more proud of you.

Happy Birthday.

Love you Forever & Always,


J.Mo said...

Ok, that melted my heart. I'm sitting here, with my 2 month old sleeping in her swing, and I'm crying thinking about celebrating her birthdays and her first day of kindergarten...I too, will cry as I pull away from her school. Such a beautiful letter....Happy Birthday Cam

Cole said...

Happy Birthday, Camdyn! She looks just like you! And she seems so mature in that reflection pic - beautiful.

LeeAnn said...

Happy Birthday Camdyn! I hope she has a FABULOUS day today! I love the new pictures, btw.

...and man, your posts make me cry. :-)

We have some catching up to do, my friend.

Chelsea said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful little princess!

Colleen (Shibley Smiles) said...

What a beautiful post as always. I love the photo by the window. Happy Birthday to Camdyn! Girls are so much fun.

BTW have I told you that she looks a lot like you?

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

Happy Birthday Camdyn!!!!
I absolutely love the picture of her looking out the window. What a beautiful picture.

TV's Take said...

What a great letter! Happy Birthday Cam! Love the birthday outfit, she could not have picked a better one. Hope you all are having a wonderful day celebrating

cooperl788 said...

This is such a wonderful letter to your sweet little girl. Happy 5th birthday Cam! Hope your day is as special as you are!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Cam! Such a sweet post Carol! Hope you guys have a fun day celebrating!

adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

this is such a precious, precious post! she is so lucky to have you as a mother, and so blessed to be able to grow up and look back on things like this that you've written for her. happy birthday camdyn, and happy birthday (of sorts) to a wonderful mom. :)
p.s. i gave you a mention on the memos yesterday. thought you'd want to know. :)

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday Cam!! What a great post. I hope you are saving these for her to read :) The time goes by so quickly and I am sure it feels like just yesterday that you were holding her little body in your arms. With each year that passes comes new milestones, new obstacles and new adventures. As they grow up, they teach us certain things too. I know I have learned alot about myself from my boys. I hope she had a great day and has a great year ahead :)

Mama Hen said...

Happy birthday my fellow Capricorn! These pictures are beautiful Carol! I love the one of you two together when she was a baby. Precious! It is amazing how fast they grow. I always love your letters Carol! Have you looked into Blog2print? I did it and the book is so wonderful for my daughter when she gets older. It was really fast and easy. Have a great night!

Mama Hen

torie@Life With Rylie said...

Happy birthday! What a wonderful post! So heart felt! You are so blessed :)

Ashley said...

Happy birthday! Beautiful post as always. I gave you an award at my blog on Monday. :)

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

What a sweet letter to your baby girl! Happy 5th Birthday, Camdyn!