I remember so vividly your little toes, your shocking crest of hair, your baby smell and tiny little whimpers. It was just yesterday that you were born. It is all seared into my memory EXACTLY as if it were yesterday.

And then I remember the momentous first birthday, followed by the second, and the third. Growing in a thousand small ways all the time, but still my baby with little dimpled hands and curled toes and hair that smells of straw and my own childhood.

And now you are four. I’m so proud of you, my daughter Emme. To say that you are the greatest thing that has happened to me is such an understatement. To talk to you is to feel completely and effortlessly at “home.” To watch you watch and understand the world through your eyes and from your perspective is an experience like no other I’ve ever encountered. You are bright and goofy and inquisitive and sweet. Quiet and determined and imaginative and funny. Most of all, you are kind–so incredibly positive and kind. You’re only four, but I see in those flecked eyes of yours glimmers of your future. And it is so amazingly bright. I’m the happiest mom there is, my little peanut. Tomorrow morning you’ll wake up and blink sleep away from your eyes to notice your ceiling is filled with happy birthday balloons from mom and dad. We’ll dine on your favorite chocolate chip pancakes and open silly string presents and kiss your dimpled cheeks and love love love you. Happy birthday to you!!