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One. Whole. Hand.

December 21, 2011

My baby girl is five. FIVE!!

I’m so completely baffled about how we went from here:

to here:

It’s just…I can’t even…..GAH!

I am so proud of that girl. She’s just awesome. I mean, don’t get me wrong – she also drives me to drink on a semi-regular basis (what with the arguing and the “hey Mom?”ing). But I keep getting flashes of this loveliness that just leave me speechless. For example, following her Princess Tea Party birthday party on Saturday, I had to send her off to another birthday party Sunday morning. Girl was burnt out with the excitement and the party and All The Things but it was one of her close friends and I couldn’t very well not send her….so among many admonitions to “be good!” “be polite!” “use your manners!” I sent her off. And when I picked her up, the friend’s mom pulled me aside and told me that during a particularly crazy part of the party, Anika had gone up to her and said “Excuse me Mrs. M, is there anything I can help you with?”

That…yes that. That is who I am trying to raise you to be. Someone who is kind. Someone who thinks of others. Someone who lets grace and light and love shine through them at EVERY opportunity – not because it’s easy but because it is RIGHT.

So, for her birthday this year Miss Ani requested that we have it at home, and that it be a princess tea party. She wanted it to include a pinata and balloons and tattoos, and freeze dance. I figured that all sounded reasonable, plus a tea party meant mid-afternoon so I wouldn’t have to deal with a meal or anything. We had some additional discussion and decided that we would also concoct a game of “Pin the ballgown on the Princess” and make cupcake pops. Done and done.

We decorated….

We set the table….

We made party bags that fit inside the pinata, and then hung it for the girls to open before they left….

We made cupcake pops….

We procured Melissa & Doug princess wands to be decorated by the girls when they arrived…

And through clever use of a colouring page (enlarged and traced onto brown paper with a sharpie, then coloured by Ani and I), we even had our pin the ballgown on the princess ready to go.

We had a great time, and the girls loved it. (In truth I was and am exhausted. But it was worth it.)

Tonight we had a birthday dinner and opened her gifts from the family. We had a really nice time but it’s definitely clear that the girl is getting tired. It’s going to take some work to get her through the next week and a half or so I think.

I love looking back at how far Ani’s come this year. Academically she’s doing really well – we’ve met with her teachers, and all are in agreement that she’s ready for Grade 1 next year (eeep!). It’s been a bit of a question mark for us, because although technically she’d be ready for Grade 1, the reality is that her birthday is mere days before the cutoff….so we have worried about it for her a little bit – she’s going to be really young in her year. But this couple of years in the Montessori system has set her up really well I think, and given her the confidence and the ability to get where she is going. She’s far more confident socially than she was at this time last year, and academically she’s doing just fine. She’s not quite reading but very close. Her writing and drawing is great. I don’t want to hold her back pointlessly so if she’s ready…then she is ready.

She’s swimming really well – just passed her “crocodile” class and is now a Very Proud Whale. So that will start in January, and she’s very excited about it. She took skating lessons this fall, and while she isn’t a total natural on ice or anything, she did pretty well – I was most impressed that she figured out how to pick herself up and not get too discouraged by falling. So we’re looking forward to another winter on skates with her.

Then of course there is dancing. Ohhhh yes. Dancing. Still her first love; still the place where she really seems happiest and free-ist, if that makes sense. She’s taking a tap/jazz combo class now, in addition to her ballet class, and she’s really enjoying that. I was quite impressed recently to go to an open class for the combo class and to realize she’s definitely doing more “dancing” and skills work than “dancing around like fairies”. It was neat to see her use the barre for something other than swinging on.

She’s a good kid. She’s a fun kid. And as always, I cannot WAIT to see what she will do next. I am so happy and excited and proud to be along for this ride.

(But of course, then there is this guy who thinks that his sister HUNG THE MOON. Smitten? Ohhhh yes. He’s been walking around all day singing “Haaaaapppyy TOOODOOOO….” and “Happy ANKA!”)

He’s just as delighted with the events of the evening as she is.

I think it’s fair to say that you are loved mightily Miss Anika.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Cal Morton permalink
    December 21, 2011 9:12 am

    I knew these pictures would blow me away – and they do! It’s the ballet ones that did me in completely…sniff! Happy Princess Tea Party Birthday, Ani!!! You are five. Second milestone birthday. (hint re first milestone: Sam has already had his…) XOX.

  2. Hubby permalink
    December 21, 2011 9:51 am

    Ooh, great pictures. Love the one of her sitting at the table, flashes of the girl she is becoming. We love you Anika =D

  3. December 21, 2011 10:29 am

    Papa thinks you are awesome…well said Christy. It’s fun to be a part of the ride.


  4. December 21, 2011 10:33 am

    She’s too much. I love it. (She’s a Whale!?!? LOL.) I love all of these photos, but agree with Mom that it’s the dancing pictures that really do it… the dedication, determination, and love in her face is just awesome. I will miss her (and Sam, and you, and Brandon) at Christmas, but I cannot wait to celebrate at New Years… xoxo

  5. Kerri permalink
    December 21, 2011 1:59 pm

    Seriously. I echo Shannaon. Too much! Agreed that you can tell from the dance pictures that she’s not just fluttering around anymore. She’s got grace 🙂
    Hugs and love, Ani!

  6. Ruth Winterfield permalink
    December 21, 2011 7:09 pm

    Christy, this was wonderful! Thank you for the smiles. I had such a lovely chat with Ani in Whitby in October. She is truly an amazing little girl. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Love, Ruth

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