I have been participating in a blog circle with some wonderful photographers who are also mothers of girls. Each month, we write a letter to our daughters to preserve thoughts and memories of this time in our lives. I treasure being able to do this for my girls and I love the chance to see the messages that my friends leave for their own daughters. Once you have read my letter, please follow continue on to see what my wonderful, dear friend Emily Jackson of Cat and Fiddle Photography wrote to her daughter Claire by clicking HERE.
Dear Avery and Alexa,
My little monkeys, my baby girls – you are getting so big. I probably say that every month, but you just had your birthdays so I am feeling it these days. Now you tell *everyone*, “I’m four!” and “I two!” You are so proud of getting older and getting to do more big girl things. After your birthdays, we took you on a surprise trip to Disneyland for the weekend. Both of you rode bigger rides than you’d ever been on before and you loved it! It was so fun to see you try something a little bit scary, with the rush that followed, the joy and the pride. Alexa, you had SO much fun at Disneyland that you can’t stop talking about it. You are ready to tell just everyone that you went there and you met Mickey and Goofy! I have to admit that the celebration of your birthday was a bit over-the-top, between the actual birthdays themselves, the weekend at Disneyland and then your party. We are going to have to spend the holiday season focusing on doing things instead of getting things to undo some of the damage, I think!
(Thank you to my friend Gaby for taking the family photo! Pardon the expression on my kids – we were keeping them from their 5th cupcakes and giant pile of gifts.)
I am becoming a bit afraid of late that the lawyer skills in your dad and I may have been passed along to you. You have recently been taking some positions in opposition to mine and it is interesting to see how you are sticking to those positions for longer than I expected. Avery, the other day when we were driving in the car, you told me that you don’t want to get a dog anymore (you’d wanted one for some time), and that instead you would like a turtle. You promised me that you would keep this turtle safe from our cats by putting it in a safe place where they could not get to it. I explained to you that I wasn’t so concerned about the cats harming a turtle (I expect that turtles can take care of themselves), but that turtles live a very long time – longer than a 4 year old girl is likely to remain interested in one. This argument hasn’t really won you over, as you’ve continued to let me know that you would still like a turtle, and you regularly suggest names for it. “Leafy” is my favorite of the ones you’ve mentioned.
Alexa, the last few weeks have been challenging since we decided to enroll you in preschool a couple of mornings a week. Avery took to preschool with a simple, “bye, Mom, see ya!” You, however, have not been the same at all. You are excited about the idea of school – having friends, playing, doing art and singing songs. You seem to believe, however, that I should attend as well. This was not actually the goal – in fact, it defeats the goal pretty much entirely – but that doesn’t particularly concern you. I am not sure how to proceed on this one, but I have to admit that a part of me really loves feeling needed this way. You are growing more able and independent all the time, and it is nice that you are still my baby.
I also must mention that you have been playing together so very well lately. It seems to be birthday party season, with parties each weekend, and it is fun to see you both running around with your friends. You don’t spend the whole time playing together, but you do check on one another regularly, which is pretty awesome in my book. And you’ve been great at sharing all the many, many, many new toys you received for your birthdays. Figurines from one toy are used with others, all in the princess tent, with babies being brought in and out to play as well. You’ve been working on playing games together, which is pretty amazing (though Alexa, you’re still working on understanding the rules, and Avery, you are working on being a good sport), and you often play elaborate games of pretend, where you are doctors or vets or hair stylists or animals. It’s really adorable and I cannot get enough of watching you. This photographer mama is also thrilled that you’ve been so much more willing to let me take your pictures as well, like the ones featured here of the Bumble Bee and Lady Bug. You’re too cute for words and so I am so glad that I can capture these moments for us. I love you so much! Thank you for being so wonderful.