Today is Adelaide's birthday. She's four.
When I was putting her to bed tonight I asked her what her favorite part of the day was.
It wasn't the little decorations we put up, or the balloons we scattered around her bedroom floor this morning. It wasn't the gifts she opened, or that she was able to run around with some of her friends at church while I was at bible study, or even that we spent some time at my mom's house, complete with a new Rapunzel dress and a happy meal from McDonald's. Nor was it dinner with daddy at her choice - Chick fil A (yes, fast food twice in one day), or her first trip to Build A Bear ending with a stuffed pink cat clothed in a Rapunzel dress.
No, it was "The cupcake and singing 'Happy Birthday.'" So, eating cupcakes at home and us squeaking out the birthday song was her favorite part of the day. I guess next year we can really simplify.
Making Addie feel special today was so fun. She kept saying, "I love when it's my birthday."
In reading past birthday blog posts it seems I've started a trend of writing two birthday posts - one as a recap of the day/party, one as a bit of an "ode to Adelaide."
So, here's my ode:
Adelaide Bell Chaney, you truly are a joy. I say that looking back on this past year and man, was three challenging. Your twos looked terrific compared to the threes, but I can look back at these months and realize that I've learned a lot about you and I've learned a lot about being your mother - what I need to improve, what's working, and thankful for your forgiveness. We've had some pretty bumpy times, but as we've gotten closer to four I have seen such growth in you. I'm under no illusion that four will be easy, but even in just the past couple of weeks I've really been enjoying our time together. You're so much fun to talk to, to listen to and to watch. I so look forward to this next year.
You are a wonderful big sister. While you're not keen on sharing your toys all of the time (and Olive already wants them!), you are attentive and sweet and so thoughtful when it comes to keeping your sister happy when she is upset. You are a great help to me and daddy when it comes to taking care of Olive.
You're hilarious. Your thought process is so cool to observe. Just tonight, after our bible reading, we were talking about Samson and you said, "You know what mom? I would glue his hair back on." Of course you would! 'Cause that is who you are.
You're very aware of what it is to tell the truth. Maybe that's because the first time you lied to me, which broke my heart, I scared the lies right out of you! When I question you about lying or telling the truth you always dramatically stop and say, "Okay, mom, I'm going to tell the truth..." And sometimes you just go ahead and tattle on yourself.
You sing along with the radio...your daddy and I love when you do this. Sometimes I try not to let you know I am listening to and watching you, so that you'll keep on, unhindered.
You're strong. These last six months have been a little nutty for our family. Lots of change and transition, something we noticed long ago was hard for you, which you get from me. But you're doing so well. You're adapting and you're enjoying school and friends and family and I have high hopes for your ability to adjust when the next adventure comes our way.
I'm just so thankful for you. As challenging as this last year has been, I am so thankful that God chose me to be your mommy. Thank you for your patience and for loving me even when I'm unfair or cranky or thoughtless. I love you!
Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.