Friday, January 17, 2014

You are SIX!

My dear Kaiya. Sweet, joyful girl of boundless energy. You never tire. Always ready to play, darting your purple scooter down the street, flying over speed bumps, creating songs and games as you go. What a leader you are. The kids excitedly call your name whenever you join them in their after school play. And within minutes, you've drawn them in with your latest imagined creations. Detective stories, dragon hunting, scooter races, or games of hide-and-seek. You lead the way.

This fall we hired a photographer to help us capture our year of celebrations: 15 years of marriage, and two beautiful daughters. Again and again our photographer commented on your spunk and personality, and when she shared her photos, at the top of the page was this quote:

"A girl should be two things: who and what she wants." ~Coco Chanel

Indeed, you are.

It has been a big year for you. Last January you became a big sister. And while your excitement and pride were obvious to all, your meltdowns and arguments showed us this shift in dynamic was tough. After five years of being our only, you've had to learn to share the love. But I think your heart felt the same longing mine did, for I've seen this year how Isabelle has calmed you and brought you a companion, and my heart melts every time I see the two of you playing together, or hear you making up songs for her, or tickling her and making her giggle in the car. You are a lovely big sister. Isabelle will grow up admiring you and knowing full well how much you mean to each other. Thank you, Kaiya, for your big, big heart.

This year was also a year of big girl travels. Coming home early with me and Izzy in June, going with dad and your uncles and ketchup sister to Thunder Bay in the summer, and hanging out with your dad in Nepal in December. Each time, we have said the same thing: you are so easy to travel with. Your adventurous spirit is meant for travel. And you take each change of scenery, each new challenge, in stride. At the age of five, you haggled with merchants in Durbar Square, rowed across Phewa Lake, and spent five hours walking and sketching your way through Bhaktapur while your dad took photographs.

Your life resonates with the cry, "This is the BEST DAY EVER!!"

Stay there, Kaiya. Hold that for as long as you can. I see how you listen to me and dad, how you try to understand our conversations, how you're swayed by our stress. You are so grown up in so many ways. Don't take on more. Because we love your infectious enthusiasm, we admire your tenacity and strength of leadership, and we cheer for your creativity. So just stay there, with your big fat love of life. Be there, and we will strive each day to be there with you too... In the moment, holding your hand, receiving your endless affection. Listening, guiding, answering your non-stop questions. Playing, creating, chasing, tickling. Dreaming of dragons and dinosaurs. Reading you books and tucking you into bed. I love how much you love each of these moments. Every day, you remind us to savor these moments too.

Happy Birthday, my six year old.


Erika said...

wow, such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful six year old!! how can i add anything to this? we love you darling kaiya and celebrate your life from afar!

Suzanne Veenstra said...

Absolutely beautiful Kathy. Kaiya will cherish these treasured stories for years to come.

Kaiya, I love you, admire you, and excite in you. You are becoming such a fabulous creation and I am continually blown away by your beauty. You are fantastic! Love you and miss you.

mariaborito said...

beautiful. world traveller this girl. love her big bright smile and face. she is full of life and tenacity. i still remember her sitting in her bumbo flapping her arms with excitement.
thank you for describing her once again so eloquently! happy birthday kaiya!

Rose said...

This is so beautiful. I could look at that last picture of Kaiya forever - I have never seen her captured so honestly and so beautifully. And the same goes for your words, Kathy. Such an irresistible gift.