Life's been pretty crazy around here as of late. Right before your birthday we went to Oregon to see Aunt Kiwi get married to Uncle Don. While we were there we celebrated your birthday twice; once at a joint celebration for cousin Holly, you, GranDude and some other May celebrants and the other time at GranEde and GranDude's house. On your actual birthday we spent the entire day in airports and on airplanes, traveling home from Oregon. When we arrived home, G-Daddy had left a beautiful pink cake and wrapped present as a lovely surprise for you, after a long, not-so-special birthday. And we celebrated again today, when I brought special Chipotle lunch to school, we ate together and we gave your class a birthday present of some books.
I suppose it is fitting that we have celebrated your birthday this year so many times, in so many different locations and with so many special people. You are a child who has never had simply quiet surroundings. When you were born, you already had two siblings and you were quickly followed by one more. You were always a cuddly babe and grew into an even more attached toddler. I believe I was your favorite person on the face of the earth for a majority of the first three years of your life. Often if someone looked at you, you would run to me and hide your face.
But this year you have blossomed. Going to school and doing something on your own, for yourself and by yourself seems to have given you new confidence and spark. You love to draw and play. The people you create are amazingly creative and detailed. You have discovered a deep love for reading and now willingly sit through as many books as any one will read. You have learned how to speak up for yourself and to stand up to the occasional over-the-top bossing that your older siblings dish out. Of course, you have also learned how to cause trouble and how to quietly, but oh-so-subversively, irritate and pester those same siblings. Often you are seeking attention from them, but I believe sometimes you just need some entertainment.
You have come to realize that the best way of getting what you need in this chaotic household is to just repeat your request, over and over again, until someone notices that you are asking. You rarely yell for attention. I am rarely stymied by your behavior and often you are quick to apologize. You do not like conflict and do everything in your power to fix a situation when someone is unhappy. You even still cover your ears when someone yells in anger or cries loudly.
You absolutely love to sing and dance. You clap your hands and sing all sorts of songs. I believe you have a very good sense of tone and pitch. You also love to play involved pretend games. And you love, love, love the game "slap the jack." You like it so much you have taken to hiding the cards, so only you can find them when you want to play.
I often walk into a room and find you talking quietly to yourself. When asked what you were talking about, you dismiss the question, "I was just talking to myself." You are thoughtful and ask lots of fun questions. "Do police cars have big hooks so they can pull you over?" And you are so imaginative and creative. You spent the first half an hour on the airplane this most recent trip, searching the clouds for glimpses of Care Bears or the Tooth Fairy.
You have sparklingly bright blue eyes, round rosy cheeks with adorable dimples, and your hair has finally decided to grow (though it is still as fine as baby hair and never stays where it is put). Recently you have put together the gross motor skills required to skip, go down the stairs one foot at a time and run really, really fast. For a while your nickname has secretly been "TW", which happen to be your initials but also, lovingly, stand for "train wreck". During your third year of life, you were a pretty clumsy kid. (I can say this only because I am an extremely clumsy adult and was a horribly clumsy child myself.) You walked into walls and doors because you turned your head to talk to someone. I believe you hit your head on something, daily, for quite a while. But with this new physical and mental growth spurt, some new neurons have connected and the clumsy-ness has subsided.
It is hard to believe that you are already such a little girl; you are much less the toddler who could barely be separated from her mother and so much more a confident, bright, beautiful child. Soon we are going to be moving from the house where you were born. It is hard to leave this space so filled with memories. It is the only house you've ever known, but I know we will all be together, learning and having adventures. I wonder what you and I will search for in the dark blue depths of the ocean as we travel to our new home this summer. I can't wait to find out.
Happy Birthday, Talia. I love you.