Dear Elise, on your fifth birthday,
You look like yourself. Not like Tessa, who is a clone of me, and not like your baby self who was a clone of Daddy. Just you, your own beautiful, soft features that must be the most perfect blend possible of him and I that could ever be formed.
You love music, mostly good music. And people, all sorts. Your heart is bigger than your body and your eyes know no prejudices. You weigh 38 lbs. The only dark pigmentation on your face is a beauty mark under your left eye, but there will be more. Just embrace it. You are excited to start Kindergarten, not nervous at all. And you love to swim and play the piano. You ride your bike with training wheels, and you have trouble getting uphill. You are starting to enjoy trying new foods, but aren't afraid to say when you aren't a fan. Your vocabulary is unreal.
You are fidgety. You can't sit still long enough to be buried at the beach like your sister does, and if you try, your toes always wiggle their way uncovered before you inevitably jump up and run off to find another adventure. You kiss my arm over and over when we are sitting side by side in a booth at a restaurant. You love like crazy, girl. Sometimes, I tell you to back off, because I start to wig out about personal space, but please always know, that I love how you love, and that I'm thankful. Sister just needs to chill in the already cramped booth, alright?
You are confident, yet timid. You know how beautiful you are. I hope you always know. You never forget to remind the people you love, of whom there are many, that you love them - and just how much. I hope you've learned that from me and I hope you always know the importance of those little, impromptu "I love yous".
You have a bad temper, but are ever forgiving as soon as your fuse burns out. Again, a maybe not so perfect combination of Daddy and I, but a combination, none the less. I will let you in on a little secret, it's actually a really great quality to not take shit from anyone. ;) And I smiled on the inside today when you yelled at that bossy boy on the playground. Stand your ground Sister. You are mighty.
My heart aches with love for you. You changed my game Babe, like you'll change so many others'.