Yesterday, you turned four. All day, I was thinking about writing you this letter, and how I should talk about how yes, you have firmly entered the princess phase, and your favorite color is indeed pink (but you often remind us that you also love all the colors, even, lately, white and black, and the clothing combinations you put together right now are blinding). I should talk about how sweet you are with your little brother, how most of the time you try hard to help us with him, and there is really a pretty minimal amount of screaming that that particular toy is 'mine!' How you are learning to use language in new and interesting ways every day -- you don't just mimic funny adult turns of phrase, but also put them together with other words in unintentionally hilarious ways. How you love to dance and sing and make art -- lots and lots of art. I should have written a long post about all of that, but this is what I kept thinking instead:
You are four. Four times four is sixteen. When you are seventeen, you will likely go off to college. Which means that you are already a quarter of the way through your childhood, through your time with us. A quarter done, and I can't take that in; it seems unreal. Which means the rest will likely go that way as well, and in a flicker, you will be gone.
And it's breaking my heart. I want to spend all the rest of my days with your sweet smile.
Happy birthday, princess.