Today, you are five years old.
Actually, you informed me this morning that today is not your birthday, because you said that it’s stupid that your party is not on the same day as your actual birthday. I can’t really argue with that logic, but today is your real birthday. Get used to the fact that your birthday will not always fall on a weekend. Just because you were born on a Saturday afternoon doesn’t mean that’s when your birthday will always be.
This was probably the hardest year of your life so far, and my hope is that it’s the hardest one you’ll ever have to face in your life. You became a big sister, your dad and I separated, and we moved to a new house – all in the span of six months. The experience almost broke me, so I cannot imagine how hard it was for you. I am so sorry for that. I don’t even know how I’ll begin to explain it all to you when you’re older and start to ask questions.
Overall, though, I have to say that you’ve handled everything phenomenally well.
Sometimes I worry that I put too much on you. Since it’s just the three of us now, I ask you to help out with a lot of things. Sometimes I’ll catch myself starting to ask you to do something, and I’ll hold back. I don’t want you to grow up feeling like you didn’t get to have a childhood because you had to be Mommy’s Helper all the time. I want you to be a kid.
When you get upset with me, you sometimes yell that you don’t want to be a big sister anymore. My response to that is always the same: “You don’t have to be a big sister. You just have to be Catie.” Because, baby girl? Let me tell you, Catie is freaking awesome.
I have to say that watching your relationship develop with Lucy has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I was worried before she was born, because you were never interested in babies before we had one of our own. But you are so sweet and nurturing with her, it’s amazing to witness.
Look, you even make the same facial expressions. Freaky, right?
And oh, babe, the way your sister loves you. She lights up every time you walk in the room. You are hands-down her favorite person ever.
(I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to get away with calling her “Boopy” forever, though. It’s cute now when she’s a baby, but I’m warning you now, she’s going to get mad about that nickname someday.)
You are an absolute joy, and I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that I get to be your mama.
Happy birthday, my sweet Catie-bug. I love you to the moon and back.