Dear Addie,

Happy Birthday my dear!

Four years ago today I became a mother because you came into the world. Into my life. Into my arms. You were so perfect and little, and I was the happiest I had ever been in that moment!

It amazes me how your personality is consistent with what I sensed about you in the womb: curious, stubborn, intelligent, musically gifted and a sure-minded little girl mixed with the compassion and warmth of the most tender of us. Every day is an adventure with you! I have vowed never to take for granted your excessive "I love you's" or the plenty of kisses you give every day. You make my entire month with your smile and giggles. The Earth makes you laugh and stand in awe...and I in turn see it too. Just yesterday you insisted on taking a nap on the sunlit carpet so you could sunbathe and feel the sunshine on your bare back while the rest of the world was complaining that it was 13 degrees outside. You talk to nature and to animals, and remind us all that life is a gift. Your newest favorite friend is your shadow, and you can often be found kissing it (her)! You sing yourself to sleep. And you love the world and everyone in it. A few weeks ago, you asked me:

"Mom, how long would it take to hug everybody in the whole world?"

Not wanting to meddle with your own profound ideas, I asked you how long you thought it would take.

You put your head in your hands and thought for a while, and then very matter-of-factly, "Thirteen."

I love you. You are my girl. I hope being four is all you imagine it to be. And I can't wait to get even closer to my best friend. I had no idea how wonderful it would be to be best friends with a four year old! Life is beautiful with you in it my darling. I love you.

Love you Addie,