Olivia turns 4. In Words.

Dear Olivia,
   I have started this letter and deleted it and started it again, and again and again. I kept starting with things like, "Don't grow up!" The truth is - I love that you are growing up. While you were a terribly adorable baby, I love the little girl you are becoming. You are so thoughtful and kind. A few examples, just from today: Abigail dropped her pacifier in the car, and without being asked or told, you found another one and gave it to her. (We won't mention that you found the other one in your little brother's mouth... he was done with it anyway.) You also made a wish when you blew out your birthday candles that "everyone in your family would be happy". You shared all of your birthday presents with your sister. Whenever Nathan is crying, you are the first to run to him to cheer him up. Your tantrums are becoming less and less. You go to bed without a fight. You "read" books to your sister. Yes, I like the little girl you are growing up to be, very much. 
    I've always known you are a smart little girl. But as you grow up, I am really amazed at how much is in that little brain of yours. Just the other night we were at a restaurant we haven't been to in a couple of months, and you noticed that on the counter next to the cash register there was no longer the bamboo plant that was there last time. I thought you were crazy - but the employee heard you and said, "Oh wow, I didn't even realize it's not there anymore! Hm, wonder what happened to it." I really thought she was going to say, "What are you talking about? There was never a bamboo plant here." But I never should have doubted you. You remember things from so long ago, and such details, that I don't even know why I keep this blog! I could probably just ask you any of these details and you'd remember them. I probably tell you too often how incredible and smart you are. You tell me it's because you have a LOT of brains.
   Every morning you wake up, get dressed and make your bed. Then you pick out an outfit for Abigail. This just warms my heart every morning. Yes, as long as you keep growing like this, you can keep growing. You help me cook dinner - and you actually help! You can crack an egg without getting a single shell. You're really good at mixing - and I've yet to meet a better taste-tester. You can play by yourself for hours, and better yet, you can play with your sister even longer. You boss her around and tell her what characters to be in whatever game you have going on in your head. But it's okay, because she's happy to comply (most days). Your imagination is incredible. Which is maybe why you don't ever play with toys. They don't leave enough to the imagination. Tonight you spent over half an hour playing with a family of forks. 
      You spent the better part of an hour yesterday making Easter decorations for me to hang up in my room. You love to be creative and make things. I should indulge this side of you more often. I'll work on it this year, okay? You love to sit on my lap and look at things on Pinterest with me. In fact both of your birthday cakes were cakes that you found and pinned!
      While I miss those moments of snuggling you against my chest, and quietly laying you in your bed, I am truly enjoying watching you grow up. You make life so fun, Olivia. I am so, so glad that you are mine forever.