Friday, March 1, 2013

The First Pancake Turns Six and a Half!


Dear Paprika,

I wanted to take a minute to write down some of the things that I love about this stage of life you're in - the special magic of six and a half years old.   Of course, it's not just about the age - it's also about you

Every day I tell you how thankful I am to be your mama, and it's true.  Every day you teach me more than I ever could teach you.  Your daddy and I often joke that you are our "first pancake" and well, I'm sorry about that.  I am learning as I go, and I hope I get things mostly right.  You extend me a lot of grace, and I'm grateful for that...more than you could possibly know.


You love climbing trees.  Playing outside.  Going to kindergarten.  You LOVE your school, and every day you want to tell me about all the interesting things you did at school. 

You love playing piano.  You just started in September, but already you are playing two handed pieces.  This week in piano you're playing:  Morning Mood and Puff The Magic Dragon.  Last week it was Take Me Out To The Ballgame and Musette.  You memorize your pieces easily and never want ANY help when you're playing.

You want to play violin, but I'm not quite ready for that!  The truth is that you want to do everything - you want to be in a play, take ballet, gymnastics, soccer, swim team, learn to program video games, build a treehouse, go camping in New Hampshire, and surf in Hawaii...and those are just the things you've mentioned TODAY.  ;-) 

The world is limitless to you, and I love that.  I love that you have big dreams and everything seems possible to you.


You love to learn more than anything at all.  Your favorite thing to watch is Brain Pop.  You started with Brain Pop, Jr. but quickly decided it was not as interesting as Brain Pop, Senior (which is for middle school/high school kids).  I've had to keep an eye on you with that, because some of those topics exceed your maturity level.  Haha.  But yes, you love to learn about all sorts of things, and I love to hear you explain to me about cell structure, black holes, and Ancient Civilization. 

You love to read.  Right now you are reading at a 4th or 5th grade reading level (depending on which placement test you take).  You are not crazy about math, but even so you are able to do 3rd grade math easily with no help from me.

At night, you love listening to CDs and learning as you fall asleep.  This week you are listening to the Maestro Classics My Name Is Handel:  The Story of Water Music - last week it was Story of The World:  History for the Classical Child. 

Every moment of the day, you are learning new things - and wow, it is so exciting watching you discover the world around you.  It is also personally a little exhausting - making sure to provide you with good, wholesome influences and materials.  Haha.  But it is worth it...I think every parent goes through that, wanting to help their child grow in fertile soil.  As I said, you are our first pancake, so I am always learning, too!


You are crazy about science, and you love the natural world.  You love insects and small animals best.  You want to feed gophers and pet wild bunnies, and explore vast forests.  You daydream about going to the wild woods of Wisconsin where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up, and ask me daily when we will take a trip.

You love learning about history, and are fascinated by people and cultures. You love to read biographies, and you want to travel to the spots where the people you read about lived.  You especially love Laura Ingalls Wilder because, as you say:  her family is just like ours - three sisters and a sweet little doggie.  :-)


You are so innocent, it breaks my heart often.  When I told you that I had visited Anne Frank's house, you got so excited and asked me what she was like. You are learning little by little about how the world works, and that is hard for me.  I want to protect you and shield you from knowing too many things too soon. 

Your dad and I talk often about whether or not we should skip you a grade in school, or if we should homeschool you...or what to do with your passion for learning.  Last night we were having one of our many talks about it, and we decided that skipping you a grade would only cut your childhood short by a year.  It would be one less year until Junior year younger leaving for college. 

And see?  The thing is, as brilliant as you are so sweet and innocent.  You have the academic mind of someone much older, but emotionally you are very much six.  Your favorite TV show is Barney.  I love that you can tell me about quantum mechanics and also beg to watch an episode of Barney all in the same afternoon.  ;-)


I said a long time ago that what I really wanted for you was to be happy - to be content in your soul.  And you are!  You are so happy. You are the very best biggest sister (as you call yourself) - and treat your sisters as your very best friends.  Ours is a house filled with laughter, and that's got a lot to do with you. 

You are so protective of me - and you often guard ME from things that you don't think I'm ready to see or hear.  Daily you make me little presents and drawings to show me how much you love me, and often say that you want to live with me forever and ever, even after you are married.  And that you want to take me to college with you because you can't imagine a day when we're apart.

I know things will change, and I will need to let go as you grow.  But my sweet first pancake, that is as hard for me as it is for you.  Much harder, in fact.  I thought the day you took your first step was tough, but I find this letting go is something that happens over and over again over the course of a childhood. 

Please be patient with me, for I am learning, too.

I love you with all my heart and I always will.  But you already know that.  Because I've told you thirty times today.  ;-)

In closing, here is a little self portrait you left for me on my camera yesterday:


This is six and a half, and it is so magical and heartbreaking and exquisite all at the same time.  I hope I never forget it, but I know I probably will.  That's why I had to write a bit of it down for safekeeping.



blondemom3boys said...

Love. This.

Clare said...

Beautiful post

Mimi said...

So very beautiful!
Paprika is a very beautiful girl, on both outside and inside. And she has a Mama who loves her very much.

Honey said...

That is the sweetest letter....I would turn that self portrait into a huge canvas!!! I so enjoy reading your blog, all the way from Tennessee! Your children are gorgeous and so happy. Good work and thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

cute dress!!