Oh, Miss May, what can I say?
You're officially four today, more girl than baby, more princess than girl. At your royal decree we had M&M pancakes for breakfast and the day went straight up from there. A haircut at the mall turned into princess curls, the carousel, and ice cream which the scooper was powerless to charge you for once you turned on that polite excitement you just bubble out. You're the textbook example of "too stinkin' cute."
And you weren't even wearing your tiara at the time, just a conspiratorial "Hey....d'ya know what!? Today's my birthday. I'm four!" and your sweet little hands which have just the slightest traces of baby girl dimples left in them carefully arranged into a wiggling claw version of a 4 held out in case she wasn't sure what that meant (quickly double-checked as you went to extend it, and then re-extended with an excited grin. The thumb doesn't seem to stay put as nicely without the pinky to keep it company these days.)
The majority of the day was spent at the beach, the same beach we went to the day after your first birthday. This year the weather was warmer and even though the beach hasn't really opened yet and the water line is 2 feet deep with rocks we found ourselves edging out further into the water each time you and Jorge went to get a bucket of water for your sand castles. Before too long we were out to the edge of the swim lines, chasing minnows and grabbing seaweed and walking on our hands while floating.
Up until today, to see you prone in the water my first reaction would be to assume you were drowning since there was no way on earth you would volunteer for such a position. Your hair might get wet or--heaven forbid--you may get a mist of water on your face and so, no, you'd just sit on the sand and dip your toes, thanks. And, as usual, I may act frustrated but mostly it's just me being annoyed at all the "me" that keeps popping up in the "you". Any speck of water on my face is enough to send me into a spasm (don't get me started on things touching my feet at night) and so while I hated that you were missing out on the fun, I totally understood.
But today, you were right in there: dunking your face, falling in and coming up laughing, and giggling--giggling!--as you and Jorge splashed water at each other. Your dad and I stood, literally, gawking open mouthed at it all. We couldn't resist asking you what had changed and you shook your head like you couldn't believe it either. In your most dumbfounded incredulous voice you said "I don't know! I guess for my birthday I got a brave brain!"
You are such a fun kid, I can't get over how much I enjoy just hanging out with you. You have these great ideas and are funny and generous and kind and compassionate. I want us both to be just like you when we grow up.
Happy birthday, Katie May. My May-Day. My May-Day-licious. You'll be my baby until you're 101. (Even though you told me today that, no, when you were 100 you'd be so old you'd be dead. Just like your great great great great grandma. Who is also dead. A fact with which you are obsessed. It's all part of you being you at 4 and I wouldn't trade a bit of it.)