To My Four Year Old

Dear Penny,

Several weeks ago, on the eve of your fourth birthday, you couldn’t wait for the morning, convinced that when you woke up you would finally be taller than Mommy. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if you did find yourself taller than Mommy one day, but I am glad that day is not today.

Growing up is in the forefront of your mind lately- vegetables are going down much easier for you these days with the promise that they will help you to grow big and strong, and you talk every day about what your life will look like when you are a grown up. So far, we know that you will live in a pink house with lots of flowers, and you will be a Mommy to one boy and two girls- Shushy, Creepy, and Rose.  Your children will let you read to them and cook for them, and they will be very cute and very silly. How could they not be with names like those?

I have no doubt that you will be a very good Mommy one day, if that’s what you choose to be. Your loving and compassionate nature will make anyone who is a part of your life very lucky indeed. For now though, I am really hoping that you just enjoy being four. It is such a fun age, for you to experience and for me to watch. It is about becoming more curious about the world, and more independent. It is about forming friendships and dreams for the future, and discovering who you are and what you truly love.

Today, at the age of four, you are a girl with a fierce love for your family. You are also a girl who loves to create. Just yesterday, you made Daddy his very own coloring book full of things he loved, (including a very large mug of frothy beer), because he didn’t have one. You made your sister a Daniel Tiger themed story book for her to read at bedtime, and you made me a book about our family. My favorite page is the portrait you made of me in the morning, complete with glasses, striped pajamas, and bed head. The amount of thought and detail you put into everything is truly amazing. You love nothing more than sitting at your art table with a fresh piece of paper, and I love watching to see what you will come up with next.

Another place you will happily be is helping your Mom in the kitchen. You are getting really good at cutting up fruits, and love to help me bake or prepare dinner. You also like to help me clean, and I am going to enjoy this phase for as long as it lasts.

You are a rather emotional little girl, and are still learning how to handle the strong feelings that you have. You have never in your life thrown a tantrum- instead, your eyes well up with tears as you fight to let them fall when you are feeling upset. Your response is to hide and close yourself off when your feelings get too intense, and curiously enough, you have a similar response when you get too excited as well. When your favorite parts of a song or movie play, you often cover your ears and hide, as though you just can’t handle the excitement that you are feeling. It can be amusing, but also incredibly sweet.

I know every parent thinks this about their children, but your Daddy and I truly believe you are the sweetest, smartest, most amazing little girl with the biggest heart in all the land. Keep loving and learning and growing my sweet girl, but most importantly, enjoy being four!

*These photographs were taken last winter, so of course Penny looks like a million years older now, but Amanda Seifert Photography captured her personality so well, I had to include them in this post!