Happy 4th Birthday, Rebecca! Yesterday, we had the last of your birthday celebrations, by getting your ears pierced and having a doughnut afterward. You were such a big girl about it - picking out some, crying only a second, and then being cheery and proud for the rest of the day. You turned four last week, but for the last few months, I have caught myself telling people that you are already 4. In some ways you seem so old, though in other ways, you are still the baby of the house. Many of the things I observed about your personality last year, have not changed over the past year. You are still fiercely independent, unless it's something you don't want to do. You still don't like to be told that you aren't as big as everyone else.
About half way through the year last year, we decided to give you a few simple jobs, and begin paying you, like Britt and Ruth. That was an abysmal failure. You wanted money, but not enough to work. Unlike the others I have not done a good job in training you from an early age to help. Some of that has been the fact that I had them to help, and they were already trained. Some of that has been that I've been very absorbed in schooling them, and not spent enough time training you to work with me. Some of that is that unlike the others, you have been a real pain to try to work with, and it's often been easier to just do it myself. And some undoubtedly has been the fact that I have slacked off in alot of areas since we lost your little sister. However, we began rectifying that this month. In your revised chore list, you have to wash dishes every day. The first week, you loved it and thought it was great fun. Since then you have complained about not liking this chore. One day you either sat on your stool or stood at the sink for about 2 hours before washing the last 6 dishes. You are willful, and ornery much like your brother. And both of you unfortunately get it from me.
This year you decided that you wanted to do school. It completely caught me off guard I was planning to wait probably two more years before we started you. I did a little scrambling, and found a few pre-K books that we had never used with Britt or Ruth. You quickly in a month or two completed them, and declared that you had finished school. It was cute. I have another book in the cabinet whenever you get the urge to do more, but I'm not looking to start you yet. You can tell me most of your letter sounds, but not their names. You also are getting pretty good at shaping most of your letters on the ipad or drawing them in sand. You aren't too bad with a pencil for your age, but you aren't quite there yet. Sometimes you can count to ten in order, but most of the time you skip 5, have the time the numbers after 6 or 7 are out of order. Then you think you are funny when you goof them up and we can't get you to do them right. You do love to listen to history when the kids are studying Egypt. And have asked me to make you a history passport too.
We haven't done much science this year. We've done things as we have come across them in history. We've also done a few hands on things here and there - pulling out the microscope and telescope for example. We are also starting on some yard work projects here at the new house, which I count as nature study. You have expressed some interest in planting flowers, and perhaps having your own butterfly faerie garden. We'll see how interested you are before we pursue that project.
Perhaps the biggest event for you in the last few months, is that you are playing t-ball this year. As the youngest on the team, you are by far the most difficult child to coach, teach, work with. You really enjoy hitting, and are pretty good at it. You have needed almost no coaching in that area. It was only a matter of finding a light enough bat for you. But oh, you don't like to throw and catch, and oh do you tell us about it. So dramatic.
We are also looking forward to bringing home a new baby sister in a few months. It has been interesting to watch you interact with her this pregnancy. You have enjoyed looking at babies of the same age in books, and think comparing her size to the size of different foods is really funny. You like to feel her move, something you were never able to experience with Abigail. You come to my bed first thing many mornings, to cuddle and like to talk to her, and then fuss at her when she kicks you. Unlike the others you have never asked what if Kate dies. I don't know if you just have more faith than the rest of us, or if this pregnancy is more real to you than the last was, or if you just aren't as affected by the memories of the past. I often wonder how you will react to the change that she will bring.
Starshine, you can be the most frustrating child or the most delightful child full of laughter. Life with you is always an unpredictable affair, a real surprise. Of all of our children, you are the one that I think will scale the most mountains and do the most unimaginable things, and I look forward to seeing where you go in life.
We love you,