Dear Megan Juhl,
Today you are 5 years old. WOW! FIVE. What a fun age for a kid. It's hard for your Mommy and Daddy to believe that you have already reached this milestone. Everything about you makes us smile - with pride and with wonder. How did you get so big? So beautiful? So sure of yourself? When did you become this sweet little lady who is full of compassion and grace? Always aware of the feelings of those around her. Weren't you just yesterday my baby? My first born, my heart outside my body, my rinky dink little girl who taught me how big my love can be? Yes - that was you. And that IS you.
You are rinky dink. A sweet, petite little love that packs a punch. You may be one of the smallest in your class - but your personality is big. You are wise as well as smart. Careful to do things the right way while also always doing the right thing. You embrace your roll as a big sister with ease. Always watching out for Molly and Wyatt. You include them in your play and help them along their way. You are also always eager to help Me. 9 times out of 10 with a joyful spirit, no matter what it is I ask of you. I really cherish and appreciate this about you. You are such an easy, happy child. You make being a Mommy so much fun. I can't tell you how many times different people have said to me, "Megan is such a sweetheart! She is always polite, always caring, always friendly." While I would love to take the credit for "raising" such a well behaved, sweet child...I really can't. You are just this way - and always have been. While I may encourage these things about you, they are innately a part of your spirit.
Right now - at FIVE - you love riding your new bike, pretend playing "house" with Molly (she always wants to be the Mommy and you to be the Baby - you usually happily oblige), going to Sunday School, swinging on our swing set (you can pump as high as the trees in our backyard!) helping me bake, writing all your letters and numbers, practicing cheers, swimming in the pool, singing just about anything, and Gymnastics. You have mastered your cartwheel and backbend...your handstand is almost there...and Miss Melissa has moved you into the 6-8 year old class because she said "She sees something special happening here!" You love school and ask me at least twice a week during the Summer when you can go back. You sit and read books with anyone - as long as they are willing. The reader always quits before you do. You are starting to recognize words in books and love to point them out. YOUR FIRST TOOTH IS WOBBLY! Your lower left front one. We wiggle it everyday and talk about the Tooth Fairy. Your favorite friends are Peyton, Lucy, Kate, and Vivian. But there isn't much you experience without Molly by your side. By choice believe it or not. You two always want to be together. Sometimes at night, when I ask you to say "Goodnight" to one another, she climbs up to your top bunk and you hug. One look into each other's eyes and the giggling begins. Then it turns into full blown belly laughter that I am always afraid will wake your brother! I'll ask you what you are laughing about and you both squeal "We don't know!" I wish I could bottle the love and friendship you share.
You also have a very special relationship with your Daddy. As far as you are concerned, he is the Cat's Meow. You trust him unconditionally - which I love. Even if you are scared to try something - a new food, a fast ride, a deep dive into the pool - if Daddy says you'll be alright, and he'll do it with you - you gladly go there. You two are a lot alike. You both love action movies, educational documentaries and sports. No joke - you'll sit with him in his big chair and watch The Matrix, Spiderman, the National Geographic channel, The Most Extreme, Football, Baseball or the UFC for hours. Every night you two have "snuggle time" before bed and you always negotiate for 5 more minutes.
You get dressed on your own, brush your hair and teeth on your own, put on your shoes on your own, get up and use the bathroom in the night on your own, you even buckle yourself into your car seat on your own! Your favorite breakfast is waffles or scrambled eggs wrapped in a flour tortilla. You also love apples (peeled and cored), watermelon, corn on the cob, yogurt, noodles with butter and Parmesan, nacho cheese Doritos, and PB & Grape J sandwiches. You always choose water to drink, but also love a cold glass of milk. You do not like cheese, which I just cannot understand! Not on hamburgers, sandwiches, or pizza - you always pull it off. You even prefer boxed Mac & Cheese over my gooey homemade rendition because mine is "too cheesy!"
You are quite a "girly" girl. Given the choice you wear a dress or skirt over pants or shorts every time. You love to wear my lip gloss and always want a clip, bow, or ponytail in your hair. No matter what outfit you have on, you wear your red glitter ballet flats. Your Dorothy shoes. Your favorite color is still Hot Blue, but pink runs a close second. At night when you pray, you always remember every member of our family. And when I sing songs - you choose Winter Wonderland or Amazing Grace.
Megan Juhl - these are the many little things that make up one of the people I love most in this world. The things that make you someone I would rather spend my time with than most anyone else. I put them down on paper today in a feeble attempt to stop time. To remember what it is that makes you FIVE and keep you here. For my heart, my memory, my soul feel you growing. Growing into someone I know I will love even more than the 5 year old you are today. But growing none the less. And there are days when I want the world to stop - long enough for me to say:
"Thank You God. Thank You for this child. Let me always remember her baby toothed smile, the way her long bangs fall across her apple cheeks, and the freckle on her forehead. Let me never forget her favorite childhood foods, our special talks, how she smells, or how she looks when she sleeps at night. Grant me a little more time to commit these things to memory. For she is growing SO FAST! Thank You God. Thank you for this child."
God Bless you my sweet Daughter. Happiest of Birthdays to you!
Now and Forever, You have my heart!