Dear Tessa,

I have joked with you all year that I won’t let you turn five. I threatened to turn you back to three on your birthday, and if that didn’t work I was keeping you at four, but you wouldn’t have it. You wanted to be five. As much as I admired your desire to grow, I couldn’t help but wish I saw a little sadness about growing older. Your brother always cried (until the last few years) every night before his birthday. He didn’t want to get older. It hurt me to watch him cry, and although I stayed strong I wanted to say “me too buddy…I don’t want you to grow up either”. But he did get older, and so are you.

Being five means that you are gone all day in full day Kindergarten. I kiss you as you get on the bus each morning and don’t see you again till late afternoon. I miss you. You are a happy, silly, sassy and strong little girl. Some have referred to you as an old soul and I openly tell people you sometimes act as if you are a teenager. You speak without thinking of the consequences and tell people how it is. Although I cringe sometimes I am proud. Keep being strong little one. It will serve you well.

You love to draw and write. It’s not always pictures you draw but more abstract with a lot of colors. When you aren’t coloring you are playing with barbies or babies. Skies the limit with your imagination. In your world, as long as it starts with “pretend you doing” whatever it can come true.

You love dresses and accessories. When friends were saying what they were getting you for your birthday they said that as long as it was colorful and sparkled it was for you. I think that describes you well. You sparkle my girl! You love necklaces and rings, bracelets and headbands. If it glitters it’s all good for you.

You are a boring eater. Your favorite food is buttered noodles and you love the “squishy” chicken nuggets. If you ate that for the rest of your days life would be good. When asked what you wanted to be when you grow up your first answer is hair stylist, and cheerleader, but in the last week you have been deciding how you can also be a teacher. I told you that you can make it all work…why not!?

So this is five my dear. A big year of change for the both of us. I know you will take it better than I do because we like to call you our “roll with it” girl. Your up for almost anything, as long as it’s on your terms. I love you so much and can’t wait to watch you grow this year sweet girl. You always have my back and I will always have yours. I hope you remember that.