You are one awesome girl. You are my oldest, my first! We discover new things together, me and you. As you get older you take me into new parenting territory I have yet to explore. It is so fun to watch you grow. In fact, I find it terribly difficult to picture you as a baby. I know it happened, I was there, we have pictures and videos. But in the 5 1/2 years since you were born you have grown tremendously!
You are our learner. The inquisitive one. You love to read and have begun asking me what words mean if you're unfamiliar with them. You love watching videos that teach you things, like the Magic School Bus, Wild Kratts and Popular Mechanics for Kids. You ask me daily how things work or how they're made. Sometimes you even teach me things, like the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. You say you want to be a doctor or a scientist and honestly I hope you keep that desire. Aim high, because I know you can get there. You are smart and have a passion for learning. You're already reading everything and doing basic addition without yet spending a day in kindergarten. There is no holding you back from learning because you just soak it all up. I love that about you.
You are also a good friend. You care about others and aren't shy to make new friends. Every time we go to the park you find a new friend to play with and are so excited to share that with me. You include everyone. Sometimes you need reminders, you're learning, but it doesn't take much effort for you to be sure everyone is your friend, no matter who they are. You care deeply about your friends and how they perceive you. Be careful that you don't put too much emphasis on other's opinion of you. Know that the most important opinion is how you feel about yourself and the love that your dad and I have for you. Friends come and go, but you'll always have us.
You love church. You don't hesitate to speak up in Primary and are often eager to share with us what you learned that day. You love reading the scriptures and often remind Dad and I to read them with you in the evening. You know your Heavenly Father loves you, and that is one of the most important things for you to understand in this life. If you know that, you can conquer anything.
You love to have fun and try so hard to be goofy. You try to tell jokes, but haven't quite caught onto humor just yet. Keira thinks your jokes are funny. :) You love to zip around on your scooter and are eager to learn to ride your bike, even though it makes you nervous when you're on it. You love to run around and make up your own American Ninja Warrior course in our family room. You love to play soccer and I love watching you. You get so excited when you score a goal and always cheer on your teammates. You have the biggest smile on your face when you play and that makes me happy.
You love to play with your sister. You and Keira are so funny together. I love watching you play and am so happy you have each other. You are excited for your new baby sister to come and often rub my belly and give her kisses. I know you will be a great help after she is born. You are excited to teach her all sorts of things. I'm sure she'll look up to you, just like Keira does.
This is you at 5 1/2 and I love you for it! You talk constantly about growing up. You already ask me when can you get your own cellphone, get your ears pierced, and are excited to be 16 so you can drive Keira to school. You talk about how you will get married and move away from home and have a home of your own. You constantly are reminding me that you will be 6 on your next birthday and that means you are almost 10. Aaahh.... Hailey! Slow down! Don't be so eager to grow up. Enjoy being a kid. You only get one childhood and then you spend the majority of your life as an adult. Being a kid is fun! I love you how you are and I'm not ready for you to grow up so fast. Let's take it slow and do it together, ok? Already I know that if I blink too long you will be grown and your childhood innocence will disappear. I'm currently not sure what happened to the past 5 1/2 years. It seems to have happened so fast that sometimes I forget you are a child. You're not a baby, you're not a toddler. You are a child, eager to start kindergarten, ready to open up a whole new chapter in your life. Am I ready? I'm not so sure. I'm working on getting there. It'll happen whether I'm ready for it or not. I guess that saying from Hide-and-Seek applies, "ready or not here I come!"
What I ask of you is this, please enjoy life as it comes your way. It's ok to look forward to things, but love it as it happens. You're only 5 once, let's make the next 5 months great. And then we'll tackle being 6 and all of the awesomeness that comes along with that. Ok?
I love you! Never stop being your awesome self!