Saturday, July 12, 2014

Love Letter, Month 54

Dear Kate,

You are 54 months old today...an even 4 1/2 years old.
You are pretty happy because you got your hair cut short again this week. As soon as Ms. Patty chopped off several inches of growth, the smile came back to your face and you didn't even complain about all the tiny hairs around the collar of your dress. We tried growing it out for a few months because you kept wanting piggy tails like Lucy but the reality of having your hair pulled into an elastic or worse, having your hair in your face, changed your mind pretty quickly. You are a no muss, no fuss kind of kid...just like your Nana actually. Keep it simple.
We've been enjoying our summer, spending quite a lot of time outside or in the water, just the way you like it. Since one of your favorite things to do is to "find shiny objects", panning for gold was right up your alley. You did this for nearly 45 minutes and then came back for another round after doing some of the other activities...
like riding the ponies, your 2nd favorite activity.

 Strawberry picking was yet another popular adventure as it involved both finding bright red objects...

and then eating them!
But your favorite thing to find is money, and let me just say, you are quite good at it. You have amassed nearly $6.00 in your piggy bank, most of it picked up in our travels around the city. You found 2 nickels in Chinatown one afternoon.
Your new favorite day of the week is Sunday because that is when Daddy teaches you about compounding interest. You both count out the money in your bank, write it down and then do the math to figure out what 1% interest would be. He then pays you the 1% which you put in a separate jar so you can watch how your money grows. The next week, you pull out the ledger and add in the new money you have found, the interest you already have and then figure out what the new interest is.

After the 3rd week of this, I mentioned to you:

You know, with all this money, you'll be able to take care of Daddy and me when we get old.
Your reply?
I'm more likely to use it to buy stuff.

It was worth a shot.

Some other things you have enjoyed include anything that goes fast or involves jumping:

Swimming or playing in water is also a guaranteed good time for you:
You learned how to both float AND swim on your back this month.

Although we've had quite a bit of fun exploring Chicago, from the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier
 to the Chicago Water Taxi
to art projects

we have had a few doctor appointments for Lucy's arm and I have to say, you have been quite good on these visits. My favorite was when Sam, the cast specialist, told you how long it was going to take for Lucy's cast to dry. You dutifully sat with L, holding her hand, and announcing each minute as time ticked slowly for the next 15 minutes.

It totally reminds me of this scene from Frozen where Olaf takes Anna at her exact words when she says, "Just give us a minute":

[Anna arrives at the door of the ice palace, holds up her hand to knock but hesitates]
Olaf: Knock. Just knock.[Anna just stand motionless holding up her hand; to Kristoff]Olaf: Why isn't she knocking? Do you think she knows how to knock?[Anna finally knocks and the ice doors opens]Anna: It opened. That's a first.[before she takes a step inside she looks at Olaf and Kristoff]Anna: Oh, you should probably wait out here.Kristoff: What?Anna: Last time I introduced her to a guy, she froze everything.Kristoff: But...but...oh, come on! It's a palace made of ice! Ice is my life!Olaf: Bye, Sven.[Olaf turns to step inside but Anna stops him]Anna: You too, Olaf.Olaf: Me?Anna: Just give us a minute.Olaf: Okay.[as Anna walks inside Olaf starts counting down the minute]Olaf: One...two...three...four...

Your climbing skills have improved dramatically which mostly means that you aren't as fearful of heights as you used to be and you have more confidence in your abilities.

I also think that a lot of has to do with the fact that Lucy is not competing with you in this arena right now. Lucy's broken arm has kept her from taking the lead in some of the more physical aspects of play, allowing you to take charge and set the pace. While you can do most of what Lucy does, you are much more methodical in your approach. With Lucy not setting the pace, you are more willing to test yourself.

It is a hard lesson to learn, not to compare yourself to others...one that you will probably have to re-learn several times over the course of your life. I hope that this short window of time has planted a few seeds of self-confidence, a trust that you will find your own way of approaching challenges and that it is okay to do things differently than others....a confidence that you already exhibit with me on occasion:

Me: Look at the rowers on the water.
You: I want to focus on the geese.
I love that you have brought so much fun(ny) into my life.


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