Five, in Words

Flora, I have been grappling for weeks with this letter to you on this, the occasion of your fifth birthday.

To which you would respond, “What does grabpling mean?”

And that sums up you, at 5.

This promises to be an extraordinary year for you. I know that they say that 7 is the ‘age of reason’. But it is only the age of reason, I suspect, because 5 is the age of ‘figuring stuff out.’ (I further suspect that 6 is more of 5, with actual reading.)

Part of my grappling of course is for ME, for having to wrap my head around the fact that five years have passed since you came, eyes wide open, into this world.

The other part of my grappling has to do with YOU. You’ve gone from that little loaf of bread (6 pounds, 2 ounces) to a lanky, chatty girl, curious about just about anything in front of your face.

You, like, have opinions. Maybe not fully formed ones, maybe not about religion or politics (although you have declared that church is boring). You have clearly stated wants, from your favorite meal to your desire to help me make said meal to the clear wish of what we should do after the meal (which usually consists of having a treat and then drawing).

You draw cats and chihuahua dogs (really tall ones) and people and rainbows. You write words now. I’ve recently watched you write, entirely on your own, “cat”, “love Flora”, and “No Kate”. (We should probably talk about that last one.)

We have conversations, often inadvertently funny ones. You tell me stories that make sense. You remember stuff I tell you (unless it’s to finish cleaning up the room). You ask questions, many of which, if I do not want to resort to a) making things up or b) admitting I don’t know, we have to Google so that I can answer them.

You know how to use the computer to play games (usually Curious George). You know a lot, like that red and blue make purple, and 1 + 1 = 2, and that clouds are rain before it’s raining, and that today is your birthday.

You’re sweet and helpful a lot of the time. (Sometimes you still are, decidedly, not.) You are, most of the time, a good big sister.

I’m tearing up as I write this, of course, because I never expected to be here, to have a daughter such as you, you beautiful, brilliant little person. Because I never expected to be so blessed and so lucky. So loved.

I love you, Flora-bean. Happy birthday.


21 thoughts on “Five, in Words

  1. BB is just a year and six days behind Flora. I didn’t quite realize that before now. You give me hope that four turns out to be better than three was… right? Please say yes. 😉

    Hope Flora had a wonderful 5th birthday!

    • Four is acres better than three — I promise. For Flora it came with some intense emotions, but we are learning to navigate that. And 5 promises to be the richest year yet.

      Thanks for the comment and well wishes!


  2. Oliver wants to wish Flora a happy birthday. He’ll will do it in person on the 21st. I told him this morning and he’s very excited!

    Happy Happy. And I’m glad it’s you blazing the trail into five.

    • Aw, Oliver is just the sweetest.

      I haven’t told the girls about the 21st yet because I would have to hear a lot of “is it time for Bocktown yet? How about now? Do we get to see Oliver today? How about the day after today?”

      And I would lose my mind.

      From here, 5 is looking to be something really special. You’ll see!

      Thanks for the comment & birthday wishes for Flora.


  3. A beautiful post. Tommy is five in February, and I also find myself “grabpling” with how he got there so quickly. And you’re so right about the amazing stuff they remember.

    We were watching the Pens game the other night when he reminded me that my favorite player now plays for the “bad guys.” I said, “No, my favorite player is number 11 – Staal – and he’s playing for the Penguins.” And he said, “I mean the guy that helps keep the puck out of the goal. Remember him? The tall one?”

    He was talking about Hal Gill.

  4. this is a beautiful post. At 5 she may not always appreciate it, but she clearly is a lucky girl for having such a wonderful, loving mother.

    It is amazing to hear all her accomplishments. The critter (8 mths on Monday) is just perfectly his standing, so writing words seems like ages away.

    Happy Birthday, Flora!

    • Believe you me, it’s been the fastest five years ever. Flora was just learning to walk, like, 2 months ago, I swear!!

      And thanks. The world of love when you have children is… It’s beyond words, it’s so big.


  5. Happy Birthday Flora! Did you hear They Might Be Giants has a new DVD? its called Science is Real…check it out on You Tube!

    A beautiful post, rpm. Hugs to you all!

    • I picked up 3 copies of the new TMBG for Christmas gifts: one for Kate, and one each for a cousin on each side. Shhh.

      Flora got an Imagination Mover CD, and the party we’re throwing on Sunday. She wants to know when she’s getting “all her gifts”.

      Thanks for the hugs and the birthday wishes! And the comment.

      Take care!


  6. Happy Birthday Flora!! 5 is a wonderful year.. full of discovery. Your daughter sounds like mine. Emma is now 7, and in first grade. We even call her monkey too. LOL! She believes she has “monkey soul” She is a great climber of walls. LOL! 😉 It goes by so fast. My oldest, Hayley, is 9.. almost 10. There’s an age. She THINKS she’s almost a teenager..hahaha. They are both awesome, and I wouldn’t change a thing. 🙂 I like to say they are both very smart and a bit smart-mouthed. LOL! Cherish them.. it goes by too quickly.

    Your post has me missing my little ones, who are at school. 🙂 I can’t wait to pick them up, and give them big kisses and hugs. 🙂

    Happy Birthday Flora.. again. You have an awesome Mommy!!

    • Thanks. I do treasure them. I never thought about having kids until suddenly I was having them (in my 30s…). And I’ve been amazed at how challenging and wonderful it is. Flora at 5 just floors me!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Ciao, rpm

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