My sweet Rachel,
Happy 5th Birthday! It’s hard to believe that five years has flown by in the blink of an eye! It seems like just yesterday that we found out we were pregnant with you and now here we are–5 years later. Wow! 5 years of sharing our lives with you and you sharing your life with us. Five years of snuggles and hugs and love. You, my dear one, are the embodiment of the innocence of childhood. You are tenderhearted and thoughtful. The way you talk to people and interact with those around you makes them feel like you really “see” them for who they are. Several of your teachers and many of our friends have told us how special you are, and that they feel like when you talk to them, you are really talking to them and seeing them for who they are. That is uncommon, especially for someone so young.
Yesterday when you woke up on your birthday, there was snow on the ground! How exciting! You were so happy to see snow and patiently asked if we could go for a walk in it. Out on our walk you told me that you thought it was really nice that God gave you snow on your birthday, and that “he must really, really know what my heart really wants.” Often times you’ll say things like this that makes me pause and reflect on what is happening in my life. Jesus tells us we should be more like the children, and you remind me of that verse often just by being you. You are sweet, sensitive and kind, and open and accepting. You don’t notice if anyone is different, and in fact, you know that we are all different–and that is ok with you! You are patient and eager to learn. You see the best in people and hope for the best in situations. You trust and just know that everything is always going to be ok. You might not think that a 5 year old could have all of these qualities, but you are proof that that is not true!
Out of all of your special qualities, I feel like you need to know how much I love watching you grow into your role as a sister. You are an amazing big sister. You are so patient and kind to Jake each and every day. He is a big huge ball of energy and often times we tell you that he is still learning how to behave, but you always take it in stride. Thank you for being such a wonderful big sister and taking it upon yourself to try to encourage Jake by showing him “how to be good” (you have always been a pleaser!), you make us proud every day!
For your birthday this year we took another trip to the American Girl store and let you pick out an outfit for Polka Dot, your favorite Bitty Baby. You take Polka Dot with you everywhere and I have a feeling that Polka Dot is going to be around for a long time to come. I love seeing glimpses of the Mommy I hope you will become some day when you play with Polka Dot. You are so, so sweet with babies–real or not!
One thing is for sure, my girl. Your Daddy, Jakie and I are so very lucky and blessed to have you as a part of our lives. You might feel like we are teaching you and helping you grow into a better person, but in truth you are the one who is teaching us and helping us to become better people too. Thank you for showing us that there is living proof that goodness and kindness can prevail in this world. The world is a better and brighter place with you in it.
I love you forever, to the moon and back until the end of time.