My lovely girl turned five today.
Just for reference, this was what I had to say right here on this blog about her turning four:
"I have to say, this first week of Reese being four has thrown me for a loop. All of a sudden, seemingly overnight, my chubby, pot-bellied little baby has leaned out into a stringbean. All her softness seems to be disappearing right before my eyes. Everything's too short for her ever-lengthening legs and too big for her shrinking waistline. She is so rarely out of her dress-up shoes and lip "glass" and play jewelry around the house, I'm starting to feel as though I'm living with an extremely petite - for lack of a better word - streetwalker. And she's got the lip to go with the lip gloss - sassy and broody, I had no idea that my introspective, sensitive toddler was capable of such a dead-on imitation of Molly Ringwald in any John Hughes' movie."
Well, thank goodness for us all, the moodiness and broodiness has been transient and has been mostly replaced with helpfulness and smartness. Knock your socks off smartness, actually. Reading sight words. Adding up numbers in her head. Imagining and acting out stories. Telling jokes. Making wisecracks like this one earlier today:
"I'm already smarter this morning 'cause I'm five. See, you C-H-R-I-S spells Chris. G-E-R-I spells Geri. And R-E-E-S-E spells five!" (Doubles over laughing hysterically.)
As to those skinny arms and legs, they've become stronger this year, and faster too. Running on her first soccer team, learning how to jump rope, trying to learn to swim, even riding a dirt bike with her very patient uncle this past weekend. Yes, she still likes the dress-up clothes and the lip gloss, but she's also picking out her own clothes, mixing and matching stripes and patterns and pulling it off like only Punky Brewster once could. Maybe it's her hair that saves her: wildly curly and with a mind of its own, it trumps any outfit.
One of her main activities is advising her two-year old brother who at the moment is alternating between throwing fits and being the cuddliest kid in the universe. She lectures him about school and he sits in rapt attention as though Gandhi himself were speaking:
"Finnie, I'm going to school today because I have to LUUUUUUURN. I've gotta lurn Finnie and that's what you're gonna do when you're big too."
He nods, eyes two big brown marbles, blinking in the information.
She informs him about ding dongs (good) and shots (bad) and all foods yucky (raisins, nuts, shrimp) and all activities fun (jumping off the couch, watching Jack's Big Music Show and Sesame Street). She is, by and large, amazingly kind and patient with him, never hitting back, sharing all her jewels and shoes and puzzles and art things. I think he is her favorite person and I am sure that she is his.
I love that Reese is five. I love that we can go to the movies now. And that she, nor her brother, need a stroller or a wagon to get around, we just take off down the street, headed for the park or just a walk around the block. I love that her mind can figure things out now on her own, but that she still has the innocence to see things clearly and without predjudice. Like just the other day, when she was explaining to her one year younger cousin Charlie about God. From the odds and ends I could pick up from their conversation, I think she's definitely onto something.
After a lifetime of soul searching, what if Reese-ism is the religion for me after all?
First off, I know anything she would subscribe to would include large quantities of inclusiveness, manners, hula hooping, books, art, friends, cozy warm blankets and her favorite of favorites (and mine too): chocolate.
Wait, no, she would correct me there, she would say, "no Mom, chocolate CANDY is my favorite."
I would point out that chocolate is a candy so you don't need to say candy too.
Then she would say, yes mom, yes you do.
That sums up Reese at five, and I have a feeling will describe her well at twenty-five too: passionate, specific, confident; a girl of conviction, especially about the things that matter most.
Happy Birthday my sweet Reese. And many, many more.