Dear O, 3.5 years old

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It was the final day of your dance class. The parents and grandparents sat in folding chairs. You and your older sister were dressed in fancy leotards, sitting in a circle with the ten other ballerinas.

Your strawberry blonde teacher led the class in elegant stretches, lifting her arms into the air. She went around the room, stopping to ask each girl, "If you could fly anywhere, where would you go?" The little girls answered one-by-one: "Disneyland!" "A fairy garden!" Until she came to you. My petite blondie, the youngest in the class. Your voice rang out like music, "I would travel the world and help pu-pel (people)."

Dear O, 3.5 years old 1

Tim & I looked at each other, amazed, eyes wet. You astounded us all.

At 3 1/2, you are as dear as ever. Sensitive to the thoughts and emotions of those around you, you feel things deeply. If we raise our voice just a little, you cry your heart out (and not a fake cry either). "Sorry, mommy," you will say, "Do you still miss me?" (Not sure where you got that phrase, but I know you are asking for reassurance of unconditional acceptance). I look into your baby blues and hold your attention, "No matter what you do or say. I will always, always miss you." You grin.

You like to dance and leap and run so so fast 'cross our great room. When you get dressed in the morning, you prance in on tiptoes - waiting to be noticed. Waiting for your dad or I to say, "How pretty you look!" or "I like those colors!" But then you will say with seriousness, "Know what makes you beautiful? Caring about pu-pel (people)." In your prayers, you never overlook the poor.

It seems apparent that you are an introvert (but we shall see). We'll go to a friend's house, full of children...and we'll find you alone with a dollhouse or at a play kitchen. Playing quietly by yourself. It's what you do.

Lest I forget, you are also stubborn. But goodness me, you are cute, with your hands on your hips and your pursed lips.

You have one necklace and it is your prized possession. Simple with black beads, it used to be mine...but I gave it to you and you adore it. I only have one necklace too, but something tells me that perhaps you will be more into accessorizing than I have ever been.

A snuggler still, you love to sit in my lap and to be held in my arms whenever your baby sister is otherwise occupied. It has always been your way.

You eat watermelon like it is your all-time favorite dessert. You dress-up every day and find it to be quite a trial if you can't walk about in a fancy gown. Sleeping Beauty is your favorite.

You like pretending with dolls. You like making peanut butter balls. You like reading books (especially ones about princesses) and - you like to draw. Especially rainbows.

Little Liv. We all adore you. Hold this truth firmly in your soul - we will "miss you" and love you forever and ever.

©2020 Stephanie Sheaffer - All Rights Reserved
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