Rowan has turned five, and seemingly overnight has sprung into this charming, loquacious, exceedingly curious little girl. The seeds of these tendencies have been there since day one, but recent months have brought them into stark focus. She is a delight. Fully conversational, she can hold her own on the playground, at brunch, and with all ages. Her vocabulary is endless these days and I'm in awe of her keen observations and turns-of-phrase. Just this morning, she joined me in the bathroom for a bit as I was getting ready for work and when I asked where her Dad was, she responded "cooking breakfast in the kitchen, I'm guessing." She is quite the expert in hilarious one-liners and zingers and their unintended humor makes them even funnier!
She is smart, but beyond that, overflowing with grit. When she applies herself to a task, she dives in fully and won't look away until she is satisfied with her mastery. Recent examples of this include swimming and reading. We were lucky enough to have my Mom with us for a month this summer, and her former teacher status launched Rowan into both of these with gusto. I couldn't be happier about this, obviously, as water safety is critical for any California kiddo, and one of my keen goals as her Mother is to lead her into a lifetime of books, the best companions, IMHO. She works her way through words, stringing together small and adorable sentences and the look on her face when she nails it shoots a love and pride filled arrow directly through my heart every single time. The same is true of swimming - she has progressed by leaps and bounds this summer, and is an officially minted swimmer, just working on refining her confidence and technical strokes. She took to the water with urgent seriousness and will stay in there for hours, practicing again and again to increase the length of pool she can swim to reach us. I love her ardent little spirit, the intentional way she attacks every task.
She aims to achieve maximum helper status at home, and it is adorable. Yesterday morning, she rushed to find me and insisted that I follow her, eyes closed and hand-in-hand, to see a surprise. She led me into our bedroom where she had worked to make our bed in the precise way that I'm always doing each morning, never realizing how keenly she has been observing. Even the pillows were perfectly placed! She is a treat.
Her tastes are delightfully diverse and while she is very girly in her love of princesses and dolls and makeup and the like, she will also spend hours constructing impressive cityscapes from magnatiles and legos and wooden blocks. There's no puzzle she won't devour, no board game she isn't interested in learning to play. And then there is her athletic prowess - the clearest indication ever of the power of the gene-pool (let's just say she isn't getting these particular talents from her Mom!). She shows talent in most anything she tackles, with soccer, tennis and dance being current spotlights.
When it came time to sort the specifics of celebrating her fifth birthday, we joined forces with her best little buddy and headed to Disneyland to fete these sweet princesses with two days full of everything they love. They rode rides and enjoyed water slides and ate yummy food and acquired a few new Disney themed gadgets. And most epically, they enjoyed a birthday dinner with all of their favorite princesses, including brief chats and hugs with each and the opportunity to fill up an autograph book with each of their signatures. As I left for work this morning, Rowan was showing the book to our wonderful nanny, carefully pointing out each signature with a little story about her favorites. We joked that the expense of Disney could have offered us a family trip abroad, but in the end, the memories and the smile that lit up her face the whole time were worth every penny and then some.
She just finished up her summer camp program, and Kindergarten awaits in the fall. All of the old adages are true: this all just goes so fast. I can't believe she is five and yet I don't mourn the past, because the present is so enthralling and the future promises more of the same. I'm fiercely proud of the kind and curious, tough and spirited girl she is becoming and I hope and pray constantly that we'll always be able to steward her into the best parts of herself as she grows and changes. She is pure, Rowan-sized joy and being her Mother is my greatest happiness, my most life-affirming role, my endless adventure.
I said this on Instagram, but I feel the need to repeat it here: FIVE. A full hand. Every inch of my heart.
Happy fifth birthday to our sunshine girl.