Friday, March 25, 2011


Dear Julianna,

It’s never really occurred to me how big of a milestone five is before. I don’t think I’ve ever given it much thought until now. I mean, it’s not thirteen where you’re officially a teenager. It’s not sixteen when you can legally drive. It’s certainly not eighteen when you’re allowed to vote or twenty-one, the legal drinking age. Nothing particularly special happens when you turn five.

Except that five is everything. Five is learning to read. Five is a whole new world of looking at books a new way and reading signs and captions of pictures, reading the writing on television commercials, reading handwritten notes and receipts.

Five is also riding your bike on your own, taking off on your own, and stopping on your own without putting your feet down. Five is crying when you fall, but getting right back on again without even a hug from Mama.

Five is talking like a grown up and using words like “perhaps” and “uncomfortable" and phrases like, "No, thank you."  Five is reciting the Lord's Prayer from memory.

Five takes showers on her own instead of baths with her little brother. Five can brush her own teeth in the mornings (and is willing to let Daddy or Mama do it at night) and five can get dressed by herself. Five is buttoning her own pants and shirts and still learning to tie her shoes.

It turns out that five is missing four baby teeth and cutting a permanent one.  Five is brave enough to not mind. 

Five is going to elementary school and possibly riding the bus all on her own (well, with other kids too). Five is learning to sit still almost all day in a classroom and eating lunch in a cafeteria. Five is being in a class of 15 or 20 instead of just eight or nine.

Five is adding and subtracting double-digit numbers and counting by twos, fives, tens. Five is no longer writing 3s backwards and five can spell her whole name, despite the fact that her parents gave her an obscenely long name with 14 letters.

Five is independent and no longer cares for the sports teams of her parents (NC State) or her grandparents (UNC) but instead cheers for the other evil school. Five is independent enough to go outside and get the mail by herself or play in the backyard while Mama watches from the window. Five is independent enough to no longer sleep with Lucy.

Five is beautiful.

So it turns out I was wrong. Yes, five is a big milestone. Five is special. Five is extraordinary. Five is still my baby, but five is such a big girl.

I love you, Doodlebug. I’m so proud of the five year old you are today.  I hope your birthday is half as sweet as you are.




Jerri said...

sniffle..sniffle. so True. hard to believe she's now five! and the smartest five i know!!

merritt said...

Happy Birthday, Jules! Absolutely amazing.

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