Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sunshine Lottie turns Six!

Dearest Lottie,

A few weeks ago, on October 18th to be exact, you turned six years old!! You were diligent in your daily request to hear how the countdown to your big day was progressing! It was hard not to smile whenever I'd catch a wave of your adorable anticipation. Whenever I would fuel your excitement, your big brown eyes would grow even bigger as a quiet squeal of delight would escape from your lips!


You have been on my mind so much lately. I feel like Kindergarten offers a parent the opportunity to see their child in a new light. These observations have come as I've spent time volunteering in your classroom, received your first report card and from the daily anecdotes you share about what made you happy or sad at school. You look forward to school every day. On Wednesday, you only attend school for two hours because it's half day. I know. Wednesday is kind of an odd choice for assigning an early day, but I am used to it now. It makes you sad because you don't get to go to recess on those early days. And man, you love recess.

You love to play on the monkey bars. It makes you so happy when you have my full attention while playing on them. You are well liked by your friends. The social challenges you face are different than Eliza and Henry. While I have worried about them feeling left out at recess for years, my concern with you is that you will be inclusive to other children as you seem to make friends easily. As I have heard reports from your teacher, as well as experiences straight from you, I am very proud of the friend you are to others. I hope that you will continue to reach out to those who are sad and will continue to invite people to play with you.

You are likewise enthusiastic about homework. The older kids are quick to remind us that your homework is "fun and easy." The often say how "lucky" you are when comparing their pile of homework with yours. Even so, I appreciate that you don't complain. Watching you learn to read has been one of the most satisfying and thrilling milestones for me to experience. Forgive me for being dramatic, but it's such a miracle to see it all come together. That's what I love about parenting. Even though I watched Eliza and Henry become great readers, it doesn't take away the joy I feel seeing you accomplish the same thing. And just so you know, I love spending that time with you.

You are a social butterfly. When it comes to requesting play dates, you are the most persistent and most determined of all my children. It is important to you to know what we are going to do each day. You used to phrase the question like this, "Mom, what's something fun that we are going to do today?" It doesn't matter if you had spent the previous day or hour with friends... you are always looking forward to your next social fix or adventure. You don't like to hear the word, "No." You have a fire and a fight in you that I admire. It also makes me laugh. I am sure that as this trait develops when you are a teenager, it will terrify me. For now, I get a kick out of your sassy nature (most of the time).

You still want to cuddle with me. Last Sunday at Church, you spent most of Sacrament meeting on my lap. I was having a hard day and it was therapeutic for me to simply hold you. I would give you a squeeze every now and then; just because. Thank you for loving on me.

Another special Lottie trait that amazes me is your MEMORY! When we can't find something, the joke/legit suggestion, is to "Ask Lottie." Eliza misplaced one of her shoes. She and I spent a good part of our morning looking for it before school today and were not successful. Just now, Eliza came down to resume her search. She said to me, "I had the thought to ask Lottie if she knew where it was and she said that she thought she had seen it in the downstairs closet (this is an obscure location, for sure)." SURE ENOUGH, Eliza found her missing shoe in that spot. I wish I had other specific examples to share, but believe me; it happens all the time. We are grateful for your crazy skill because it's both helpful and hilarious.

Every night I sing a song to you and your siblings individually before you go to bed. Usually, the requests change. For you, Lottie, you always want me to sing you the "sunshine song." This is our special song. At the end of the song, we change the words to, "Please don't take my Lottie/Mommy away..." I say, "Lottie." You say, "Mommy." As we sing, I play with your curls and stare at your sweet face. Your big brown eyes melt me. Daddy and I love your laugh, your sense of humor and sunshine personality.

Tonight was your night to say family prayer. I challenged you to think of three things to thank Heavenly Father for. You came up with a great big list. The last thing you thanked him for was our bookshelf. :) Another funny thing you said today was when Eliza walked out the door to go to her piano lesson.

"Eliza has left the building. I repeat: Eliza has left the building." I am not sure you where you picked up that one, but it made me laugh. A few weeks ago, I was grumpy. I was stewing about something in the kitchen. You leaned over to Dad and said to him, "Somebody needs a nap!" (meaning, Mom!)

One thing that scares me is that every now and then, you cry in your sleep. It is the most heartbreaking and pitiful of sounds. I climb up to your top bunk and try my best to console you. You are always crying for me. "Mom!! Mommy! Come back! I need you, Mom!" What's scary is that your eyes are open. You are looking at me. I am touching your face and holding you and singing to you and you don't see me. I hate it. It's so heartbreaking. I can't wake you up really either. In the morning, you have no memory of this. Thankfully, your crying wakes up Eliza so that you don't have to stay stuck in that nightmare by yourself. Usually, if I sing you a few primary songs, you settle down. Some nights it takes awhile though. I hope you grow out of this soon, for your sake, sweet girl.

Lottie, you are the sunshine of our home. You make us laugh all the time. I love that you still want to be by me so much. I hope I can show you everyday that I think you are so special. You deserve so much love and happiness. I forgot to mention, sorry, that you still love dance. Watching you tap dance is such a treat! Soccer is another one of your mad skills. Where did that coordination and aggression come from? You are so amazing to watch! You scored so many goals this past season. It was an exciting thing to see.

I LOVE YOU, darling Lottie; more than I can express.

As for what you did on your sixth birthday, here is a recap:

For breakfast you requested grits, hash and eggs. After that it was off to school. I came to the tail end of Kindergarten to watch you pass out your birthday treat and hear your teacher read the nice birthday wishes from your friends. After that, we picked up Forrest and went to lunch at McDonalds.

You were excited about playing in the play place. That afternoon a few friends came over for your birthday party. We went to Kangaroo Zoo and had the best time. I loved watching you enjoy your special day!

Your darling party guests:

The party room:

Your birthday presents:

And one more with a fun photo bomb from Henry:

Here's a video from her party:

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