My sweet girl, you are 6. In so many ways, you seem like 16! We have been talking about your 6th birthday for so long, I have become desensitized to it in a way, but then again, I think of that tiny little perfect pink bundle in my arms 6 years ago and I just want to cry. Somehow, 6 seems so much older than 5. Kindergarten is almost behind you already, but it seems like last week I took you for your first day and cried my eyes out all day. You have no idea how much I love you, and when I tell you “no” so often when you want sweets or to do something “for just a little bit,” you don’t know that I do that because I want what’s best for you–not because I want to be mean.

Oh, you challenge us in so many ways. You are stubborn, you don’t listen, you are constantly climbing the walls, and you have an obsession with potty talk these days. You REFUSE to take medicine, you are a big baby about getting even the tiniest scratch, and you conveniently “forget” everything we tell you. You frequently try to get your sister to do things she’s not supposed to do. You like to do things you know you’re not supposed to do, too–especially when your friends come over.
But my sweet, sweet Jenna, how blessed we are. You are so good. You make me so proud. In school, with all your “super citizen” awards and your progress reports. With the sweet things you say. With the progress I see in you every day. I think you really try, and I love you more for it. You love to make us proud, although sometimes it makes me sad when you & Sarah ask “Are you happy with me?” That’s mostly Sarah, but you do it, too. You LOVE to help us do things like clean, cook, bake, of course, and anything else that we would rather do alone…but you don’t really like doing the things we WANT you to help with, like clean your room and put your things away! You have such an enthusiasm for life and I hope you never get over that. We ask you to calm down a lot, but I don’t want to squash your excitement–maybe just tone it down a little? You love to read books, and you’re getting better with reading the words yourself. I hope you never lose that interest, too…I only wish I had more time to read to you/with you. You like all books, but I love reading the Junie B. Jones books to you because there aren’t many pictures and you’re forced to listen. 🙂 You get frustrated a lot, and I’m sorry to say that will probably only get worse as you move on to bigger & better things in school. You like to watch TV, but I am glad you would always rather play outside, if given the chance. You like a lot of shows on the Disney Channel…Austin & Ally is your current favorite, and you like all the Disney/Pixar movies. You like the Barbie movies too, but we’ll work on that. 🙂
You are still a picky eater, but getting a little better. Your favorite is still pizza & chicken nuggets. You love fruit, which makes me happy! Almost any kind of fruit, but your favorite is mango. That’s my girl!!! I don’t think you love anything as much as chocolate though. Who could blame you? Chocolate, ice cream, cupcakes, cookies, CANDY…you have my sweet tooth, I’m afraid. You do like broccoli, when I roast it in the oven, but that’s about the extent of the vegetables you like. If bribed with a treat though, you will eat them.
You are not doing any sports right now–your only extra-curricular activity is your Daisies. You love Daisies, but since we figured out soccer isn’t your thing, we need to figure out what is. This summer you will be in some gymnastics camps, so maybe you can get more into that. I also am determined that this is the summer you will be comfortable swimming. Maybe you’ll follow your mama’s footsteps? Err, strokes? You get frustrated when you can’t do something, and you don’t like to take the time to figure out how. So I don’t really see musical instruments in your future, but we will still try.
You LOVE animals. You are so gentle and good with them. We call you the butterfly whisperer because you have the ability to get them to land on your finger. Most people can’t do that! You also like snakes and lizards. You pretty much like any animal you can hold! I wanted to get a rabbit or guinea pig for you, but I don’t think you’re quite ready for that yet…because I’m not ready for it yet. You are very sensitive–movies make you cry these days (Fox & the Hound, Lion King), and I think maybe that compassion is what makes you so good with animals. You can’t get enough of Maggie.

Every night, Daddy & I rotate with you & Sarah, but when I put you to bed, you have no idea how happy it makes me when you hug me, sing to me, want me to sing to you, and you don’t want me to go. My favorite is when you tell me “I’m glad God gave me you for a mom. I didn’t want any other moms.” I try to savor all those hugs and that sweet voice because I know it will not last. When I pick you up from school, it breaks my heart to have to tell you EVERY DAY that no, we can’t play on the playground, because I have to work. I am lucky to work from home and get to pick you up most days, but I sure do wish I could actually spend some time with you each afternoon. 😦
You & Sarah fight all the time, but you really are such a good big sister. You take care of her and try to protect her. You are lucky to have each other, and one day you’ll be lucky to have someone to talk to about your crazy mother. Sweet, beautiful, loving Jenna, I am so blessed to watch you grow and flourish, and I will be with you every step of the way. I hope you can always come to me the way you did when you turned 6. I love you so very much.