March 15th, 2011 Neal
Tears of pride and joy come easily to our eyes whenever we think about this day, your birthday. Five years ago today you were born. The image that is burned into our minds from that day is of your tiny, pink body and red red face as you angrily announced to the maternity ward that you had arrived and the world better watch out. So much, and so very little has changed since then!
On that day you were so small and frail, yet also so very very strong. And the strength of mind and body you showed in your first few minutes of life has persisted and grown. You are so very strong, so exceptionally smart, and so touchingly beautiful, my girl. Not a day goes by when we don’t pause and consciously consider how very proud we are of you and all you have achieved. And every day holds the strong promise that you will achieve even more.
You have achieved so much this year. But three things stand out. First, you have learned to swim. When we enrolled you in the local infant aquatics class you were practically afraid of the water, and unwilling to put head under. It was a struggle, but over the course of six weeks of daily lessons you learned to overcome your fears and “swim, float, swim” your way across the pool. Swimming now brings you great joy — you appear so utterly confident and happy when you are in the water — and we are proud of how much physical confidence, skill, and grace you have gained from this experience.
Second, you have learned to read. You can now read entire books (the “Bob” series has been especially fun for you), and are eager to read words on signs when you see them. As a result you started kindergarten early this year, joining the “Grizzlies” class at Sunset Daycare half way through the year. And despite joining in “late”, your teachers report that you’re doing great, keeping up, and even teaching the other kids a thing or two. It makes us so proud to know that you’ll be entering “real” kindergarten this Fall well ahead in reading and math. Go Anna go!
Third, you’ve demonstrated that you can be a fantastic big sister to your brother. It brings us such joy to see you two talking to each other and playing with each other. He loves you so very much, and looks up to you, and you return the love with a caring, tender heart.
Thank you, Anna, for being part of our family, for letting us love you, and for giving us so much love in return. Happy birthday, little big girl! We love you!