Six!

Today our little Diva turned six!

Here are some things I want to remember about this stage:

Sometimes I’m not sure if you’re turning six or sixteen.  For your birthday you wanted dresses and purses.  I remember when I got clothes as a kid I had to dodge my mom’s eye reminders to not crumble my nose and throw them aside.  You?  The clothes you received are your favorite gifts.

Speaking of being sixteen, I’m slightly terrified of you as a teenager.  You’re sweet as sugar 90% of the time, but that other 10%?  WATCH OUT.  You are SASSY.  I’m talking hands on the hips, eyes rolling, heavy sighing, storming off to your room while sobbing about how everyone is so mean to you and how you’re having a very bad day.  Oh dear God if you do this at age six, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AS A TEENAGER?

Give you some paper and crayons and you’ll be baby-sat for an entire afternoon.  I’m not sure you actually have any artistic talent, but you sure do have the passion.

They must teach them how to braid as babies in Ethiopia because you can braid like no ones business!  You’re constantly doing my hair and love to give me “Elsa hair”

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Shoe tying, however, is an art that totally escapes you.

You never drink a beverage during meals even though you smother everything you eat with some type of hot sauce.

However, you do like to tell everyone that your favorite drink is beer.  That one time we gave you a sip really backfired on us!  Anytime we have a cold one you follow us around begging for a taste.  Have I mentioned I’m worried for you as a teenager?

Root beer, I promise.

Root beer, I promise.

One time you saw a glamour shot of my cousin Leah and ever since you have been totally obsessed (it probably didn’t help that Leah gave you a pink dress for Christmas).  “Beautiful Girl Leah” comes up nearly daily in conversations.  For example:  “Diva, guess who’s coming to play with you today?”  “Diva, someone’s on the phone for you.”  “Diva, do you want a princess nightlight or something else?”  The answer to all of these:  Beautiful Girl Leah.

You have the gift of gab and will talk anyone’s ear off.  You constantly want people to tell you stories, or you want to tell others stories.  Really really really long stories that have no point whatsoever.  If someone wants to be your friend, all they have to do is offer a listening ear and they’ll become your BFF in no time.

You and Wiggles are the best of friends (and occasionally the worst of enemies).  Watching you guys play endless games of baby dolls, cook in your kitchen, or race each other on tricycles totally makes my day.

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When you first joined our family you were a total fraidy cat.  You were not adventurous at all.  Now?  Now I have to tell you not to jump from the top of the slide and dry your tears when you realize you’re too short to go on some ride.  I love it!

How good or bad your day is can be directly measured by how much TV you get to watch at night.  You can eat pizza for every meal, go to the zoo, play with your friends, heck even make a trip to Disneyworld, but if you don’t get at least a few minutes of the boob tube at night you announce that you have “had a very bad day.”

Your emotional IQ is off the charts.  Higher than most adults.  If you sense I’m not feeling well you practically push me onto the couch, cover me up, and play with The Baby.  You give up your turn or share your treats without a second thought.  You ask deep questions about why people are feeling a certain way or why life is sometimes unfair.  It blows my mind that a barely six-year-old is capable of thinking this way.

And you’re so helpful around the house.  Dog pee on the floor?  I usually find out by you telling me that you cleaned it.  Baby crying?  There’s you, crawling on the counter to get her some Cheerios.  Dryer buzzed?  You’re folding towels before I can get there.  Hungry?  You take initiative to make yourself a strange concoction (most recently it was oatmeal, Cheerios, and hot sauce).  I appreciate this in ways you cannot understand and am so thankful for you.

The one exception is your room.  You change clothes approximately 47 times a day and always discard your old clothes wherever you take them off.  Your attitude comes out when I ask you to pick them up.  Only since I threatened to take away any clothes I find on the floor has this started to change.

You are totally and completely grossed out by kissing, boyfriends, and marriage.  You get legitimately angry if we suggest you’ll get married someday.

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For the longest time you wouldn’t let us kiss you on the lips.  Now you do!

You came to America at the perfect time.  What better age to start school than kindergarten? You love writing and are doing a decent job at sounding out words.  You just started doing math and are pretty good at basic addition.  You can do basic subtraction if you really think about it, but if we leave you to do it on your own you always add.

When you get a certain concept you love to exclaim “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy”.  Then you make us say it too.

One of the greatest joys of my life has been watching the redeeming work God has done in your life in just one short year.  I first met you about 17 months ago.  I don’t think anyone who wasn’t there can quite understand what you were like.  I’ve said it all before:  You had walls way up, you were scared, you were hateful, you were mean.  But words don’t quite capture what it’s like to see a 4.5 year old who doesn’t smile when she’s taken to a park for the first time in who knows how long…maybe ever.  Words don’t explain what it’s like to see a preschooler who has been through more in the first years of life than anyone should have to go through, ever. Words can’t capture the feeling of carrying a young girl who is fighting you with all of her might because she doesn’t understand what’s happening.

But even then we could see a little spark to you.  We got glimpses of it when we played tag and when we tickled you.  We knew it was there, we just thought it would take years and years of therapy and stableness and love and prayer to bring out.  We knew it would happen, but never did we imagine that by age 6 you would be the fun-loving, sassy, helpful, creative, smart, inquisitive, social, dare-devil little girl that you have become.  Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life.  Thank you for trusting us, even as we messed up a hundred thousand times.  We love you so very much and can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

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