Gemma Rose, six years old.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

my dearest Gemmi Ro,
you are six! as I say every year, it seems impossible that you are not older. you are so kind and patient and thoughtful - my darling - I swear sometimes I think to myself, "I need to be more like Gemma." Daddy and I sometimes look at each other in awe of your patience and generosity. You are so so kind and understanding, Roe, more than any of us deserve. You ask us how our day is going, you help clean up, and you do chores with zero whining or complaints. You do the things that need done with a steady persistence and you care for those around you, it's as simple as that to you - but you're only six and you already understand that so it shocks us regularly.

School was a bit of a rough start, but we knew that it would be - despite how hard you worked to be ready. You were so lucky to get your teacher who has championed for you and your learning since day one. (Mrs. Roman, we are so blessed that you are in our lives). Gemmi, you have practiced tirelessly and you have never given up even when at one point in the middle of the year, as we were practicing reading sentences, you looked up at me with tears in your eyes and said, "Momma, everyone else in the class can do this easier than me." I gave you a hug and we had a long conversation about how we all are good at different things and we all struggle with different things. That little chat was all you needed to lift your chin and get back in there.

The progress you have made this year, academically Roe, has been staggering. We are so proud of you - less because of how amazing your report card is - but more because of how hard you worked and hung in there. Our tenacious little girl.

You also have a dramatic side that can make us all a little batty too though. You feel things so immensely that you jump off the train at cuckoo-town and we have to give you a speech about not being too upset or too silly or too theatrical. Sometimes I hear my exact momma-speeches (tone and all) come out of your mouth and I am immediately reminded that I too need to sometimes not be too upset or too theatrical when parenting you four kids (thanks for the regular reality check, Gem).

Your favorite way to play is pretend school and you need no playmates to do so. You pull up a little chair and carry over a tall stack of books and a big wad of scratch paper and a pen and get started. For hours, you mimic your teacher's voice in the chair; 'reading' aloud the books and marking attendance on the scratch paper. You love doing homework pages, and pretending to type on old laptops/keyboards. I can never find any of my pens, markers, or tape because you are constantly stealing them for your mobile 'classroom.'

All of your best friends are two or three years older than you (#typicalGemma) and you still love all things teenage girl - nail polish, purses, boyfriends, kissing movies, dancing, selfies, etc. You cheered this year with Turners All Stars and took to it like a fish in water. You have always been physically strong (still true) so learning about cartwheels, roundoffs, and toe touches have been a dream come true. You've spent most of the last year upside down in either a cartwheel or a handstand up against the wall. You are also playing soccer and are a tough and determined little cookie but also aware and a team player - passing to teammates and giving them space when they have the ball.

At six, you can do your own ponytail, ride a bike without training wheels, rollerblade (not great, but you're determined), do a flip on the trampoline, make toast and eggs independently, and fold clothes. You still like to be tucked into bed and fall asleep to the sound of my voice reading aloud from whatever book I am reading. Your favorite movies are love stories (A Cinderella Story, Zombies, and Descendants) and you'll eat almost anything without complaint but you love croutons and ranch dressing best. You are still our snuggle master and if you're having a tough day, the fastest way to  perk you back up is with a hug or a snuggle on the coach with a book, or a twirl in the kitchen to some music.

Early this school year,  you learned that the word 'flesh' means 'skin' and right away you made the connection that calling a particular crayon 'flesh color' (like some of your classmates do at school) was not very nice. You said, "but not everyone's skin is the same color!" Several times this year, I have heard from your various teachers about how you maturely and matter-of-factly explain to your classmates that you don't feel comfortable calling it 'flesh color' and that you call it peach instead. 

You help opposing soccer players up off the ground and ask if they're okay. You ask how to respond in a nice way to a classmate who says you're not her friend anymore. You share your own anything every single time someone else doesn't have. You know how to wait your turn, you let younger kids go first and cannot stand to see someone cry or sad. And when Greyson makes a bad choice and needs to be punished (even when the bad choice was directed at you) you beg for Daddy and I to punish you instead so that your big brother doesn't have to feel upset. 

My little kindergarten human rights warrior, this world doesn't deserve you - but it needs you so badly. 

my darling Gem,
You are everything good and kind and generous in this world.
I am so vastly grateful to get to be your momma.
you, my bright shining star girl,
you will love and snuggle the bad right out of this world.
I am so proud of you Roey.
I will be loving you forever
even when you're so big
your momma.


  1. Watching you watch Gemma grows up makes me less sad about watching Carly grow up. Her growing older seems like magic, not sadness. It makes me excited about what's next.
    Thank you for sharing that!
    Happy Birthday little girl.
    You are SO loved and SO lucky! You hit the family jackpot!!!