Dear Brooklyn,

You turned 4 last Saturday. FOUR. Register for you at all? Does for me like crazy, not sure how I feel about it either. People warn you, and I’ve said it over and over – soak it up. This birthday was different, in a good way, but just different. I suppose I could say that I was able to “watch from the sidelines.” Not that I wasn’t right there with you, but as a four year old, there’s less for me to stand over you and do.

The day started out with chocolate chip muffins, your favorite. From there it was your first day at your new ballet class. I loaded you up, black tutu and pink tights, we set out for your dancing adventure. A little hesitation at first, but as I peered through window I watched you soar. You’re very brave, you know.

After ballet we were on a mission to find your perfect birthday dress. You are a fierce little fashionista, mind made up before I can get a word out. You settled on a leopard dress with black lace down the front, black tights, and a black head band with a bow. No pink frills here – all business with this birthday dress.

Home for lunch and naps, neither of which you really did well, I’m sure that little mind of yours was full of anticipation. You managed to make your way down the stairs without resistance, got ready and kept a close eye on our driveway. Minutes later the crew rolled in, your Uncle Robert & Dani, Uncle Richard & Shevaun, Mimi & Papa, and Miss Tina. Party time!!!

Football was on, champagne was poured, we settled into a great day. Those presents gleamed at you and you did your best, but as soon as that little brother of yours woke up it was ON. You are one special little girl, those gift bags were overflowing!

We made pizza’s for dinner, even Papa followed your lead as head chef. Your Daddy was proud to see that Italian in you shine through.

Cake, birthday wishes, lots of hugs and kisses later I tucked you in. You went right to sleep, peaceful celebration.

I must say that I’m pretty sure I’m the luckiest mama on the planet. You make me so proud, the independence you glow, the spirit you have. We do this little thing, you and I, we wink and give thumbs up to each other as if to say “I see you, you see me – life is good.” And it is, it’s soooo good.

I always say that you and your brother are the best things I’ve done with myself. I stick by it. Being your mama is the best thing EVER.

Standing at the sidelines this year for your birthday was absolutely bittersweet. You are no longer a baby, you can do a lot on your own. Your sassy, smart, caring, and warm. You give an energy that we all revel in, and as I stood there in observation I felt nothing short of grateful.

Happy birthday sweet pea, moon and back.

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