I'll probably say this every year, but I can't believe this girl is four years old now! Our previously pretty calm and cool child developed a streak for the dramatic this year. Which has brought its challenges, but it has also been fun to see this new side of her.
She is our little ray of sunshine. And these are some of the ways she lights up our lives:
2. She still loves to snuggle. She has told me she will snuggle with me until she is six. Hopefully that's a long, long time from now.
3. She loves ballet. Last March she and Ellie started taking ballet class. At first, Olivia had a hard time participating in the class and paying attention the whole time. Now, she is really picking up on it quickly. Her favorite move is a grand jete, a leap. Just recently they've had two new teachers who have really helped to expand their repertoire and understanding of the basic elements. They even start out at the barre now, which makes them seem like very official little ballerinas.
5. We started saying things like, "I love you, I'm going to keep you forever." to each other. And she's just shortened it so that she comes up to me randomly and squeezes me and says, "Keep you forever." And then she shortened it even more, "Keep you, Mama."
6. She loves her sister. They can really get at each other's throats (sometimes literally), and they drive me crazy sometimes with their arguments over toys or clothes or whatnot. But they are also best friends. They stay up into all hours of the night talking and talking. I wish I knew what they talked about. They are always learning from each other and Liv loves to learn her letters from Ellie.
8. She's witty. You can't really correct her without getting her own interpretation of the situation. She painted a picture that was just white paint smeared on a blue piece of paper at school. When she brought it home she said, "Look Mom, I painted you a picture of New York City." "Oh," I said, "I guess it's kind of abstract." "No, it's just really foggy so you can't see the city."
9. She loves to adventure. When her teacher asked her class where they wanted to go on a trip, most kids said Disneyland and Olivia said New York City. I do love that kid. And when I asked her what her favorite thing was that she did when she was three, she said it was going to OMSI to see the dinosaurs.
10. She loves music. She got a ukulele for her birthday and it's barely been out of her hands. She can't even hold it correctly, but she plucks away and makes up her own songs. Steve is really good about introducing the girls to new bands. I'm always hearing them say things like, "Dad, can you play us the new new song stuck in your head? Not the new song, the new new one." Somehow, this makes sense to all of them and he knows which one to play. Some of her favorite songs are Honey (Magic Man), Radioactive (Imagine Dragons), Synesthesia (Andrew McMahon), Way Back When (Grizfolk), Everything is Debatable (Hellogoodbye), Mona Lisa (Brad Paisley) and Wagon Wheel (Darius Rucker). If that's not a sophisticated playlist for a four-year-old, I don't know what is.
11. She loves people. She is always asking after her friends and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. She is pretty keen to cuddle up to anyone who will give her a lap. She's also the perfect person to take to sad events like my grandmother's funeral because she lights up a dim room. It's hard to be sad in her presence for very long. And when she hears sirens of any kind she says to me, "Mama, someone is hurt. We should pray for them." And then she does. She also told me, " "I like God. God is really my favorite."
13. She has peculiar eating habits. She is a self-proclaimed vegetarian. She is always telling us she doesn't like meat. Which is usually fine because we don't eat a lot of it. And her favorite part of her birthday party for the past two years has been "eating cake." No wonder we get along so well.
Basically, she's one of the absolute best humans I've ever known and I look forward to seeing her grow and learn and become the person she is becoming. So far, it's a pretty wonderful person.
We love you, Olivia. Now and always. We're going to keep you forever.