it seems impossible both because it's happened too fast and because surely you've been older than five for forever now. If we get asked one more time if you're our oldest child by a random stranger again I think Grey's going to pull his hair out! (he dislikes being asked if you two are twins only slightly worse).
You, Gemmi, have always been trying to be older than you are - even since you were only one week old flashing those bonafide smiles at everyone. You walked at ten months and have been chatting off all of our ears as soon as you realized you had a voice that could communicate. You have always acted older than you are and yet, every year at your birthday I am shocked that we are celebrating another year of the brilliant, shining star that you are.
Our Gemmi, who feels each emotion with every single cell in her body. The joy that floats off of you, I swear, comes with it's own sweet melody that can be heard in reverberations from your belly laughs. And the tears, my sweet girl, you hold the curse (and blessing) that comes with an empathetic heart that feels all the worlds' sorrows (and beauty). Sometimes you look at me and whisper, "I don't want to be crying, momma, but my eyes are just doing it." We've had plenty of talks about how sometimes we cry when we're sad, or mad, or so happy even. We have plenty more of these talks to come.
Gem, you are also our little emotional barometer, you can walk into a room and immediately know who needs their hand held or a smile without anyone speaking a word. You try to distract during arguments in your effort to diffuse and you lean down to give hugs and kisses for anyone who feels the tiniest bit of sadness.
But make no mistake, you will also stand in brave defiance should anyone think for one moment they could wrong one of your siblings....'not without going through me first' say your set eyebrows and stoic mouth.
You still love babies and I find purses and diaper bags all over the house filled with babydoll supplies and real diapers and old cellphones that lost their chargers long ago. I gifted you my old planner this year when I got my new one and you'd have thought I gave you a million dollars. You love acting like a grown up (especially a mom, hence babydolls) and you like scribbling over all my old to do lists and pretending you have places to go and grown up things to do.
You are so caring and nurturing - it is in your deepest heart of hearts to take care of people. I feel so very blessed that my kids, your siblings, get to have you as their sister, Gemma Rose. And a tiny part of me feels peace to know too that someday when I'm not here, my other babies will still have you. I pray everyday that you will find someone who takes care of you like you take care of everyone else, my sweet darling.
You still are, probably always will be, our resident snuggler. Always, you have some part of your body touching some part of someone else's body; even if it's just making sure your foot is resting on ours while we share the couch (but usually it's your entire body leaning on us precariously so that the slightest movement will send you toppling). Your unspoken philosophy is that hands are made for holding and arms are made for hugging and snuggling. If you need a little pick-me-up during the day, a twirl and a dip can change your whole attitude.
With the exception of the leaning-on-people, you are otherwise incredibly balanced and strong. You can do cartwheels and round-offs and we're working on a backhandspring (so slowly but promising already). You can do a perfect push up, have six pack abs, and the freestyle dance moves you throw out, girlfriend, they are legit.
And, Roey, our performer girl who brings theatrics and dramatics to any situation. Who makes three to four wardrobe changes a day, who knows the importance of faking a smile to get the picture taking over with, who practices her British accent while reading books to her baby brother, and who can win any family lip sync contest hands down...to that Roey Girl...I'm telling you - when William Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage," he was speaking to someone like you.
You be you, Gemmi Rose Studer.
We are all just lucky enough to bask in the light that shines out of your eyes.
happiest fifth birthday, my beautiful old-enough-for-kindergarten girl (!!)
i'll love you forever and ever
even when you get so big