Happy Fifth Birthday to the most amazing little girl - my sweet Emmy!
She is my love, my light, my inspiration, my passion, my devotion, my life.
Turning five is HUGE! My emotions are all over the place. She is my baby girl, yet she is growing into a little girl who wants to be BIG. Emmy likes to say that she is a 'whole hand old.' I just want to hold onto that sweet hand and never let it go. She also likes to tell me, "You know Mommy, I'm five now." then there is this pause as if she is trying to figure out exactly what that means. I hope she doesn't remember things I've said in the past to answer questions like "When can I watch Spider Man?" because they seemed to always be..."Well, maybe when you are five." Turning five comes with a lot of expectations especially with Kindergarten coming up. I say there is plenty of time for these expectations. Let's just slow it down and PLAY!
We are big fans of Tom Chapin in this household with our favorite song being This Pretty Planet featuring Joni Mitchell. It is from him, as well as from the Montessori school that Emmy attends, that we sing this beautiful birthday song:
We love you!
Happy birthday and may all your dreams come true.
When you blow out the candles
One light stays aglow
It's the love-light in your eyes
Where-ever you go.
This song makes me weep every time I hear it, let alone sing it. It is simply so very sweet!!!! I was visiting a Montessori classroom once and was blown away by the teacher who was demonstrating what our love-light was. She held up a piece of paper with a cut out shape of a person. The cut out was filled in with tissue paper and she was using a flashlight held behind the tissue paper to demonstrate the glow that comes from within our heart. She talked about how this light connected each of us to each other. The children were mesmerized and I realized that many of us walk around without the glow of this light. I've never forgotten this demonstration and wish everyday for Emmy's love-light to stay strong, to bring her warmth even in the harshest of conditions.
"From within or behind, a light shines through us upon things,
and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Building traditions is something that I feel very strongly about. When you consciously create an atmosphere with special meanings, it will stay with your child throughout his or her lifetime and is then often included in his or her family life. I would like to share some of the birthday traditions that Emmy enjoys and now looks forward to each year.
*New this year...a countdown chain begun when I was tired of answering "How many days until my birthday?"
*Waking up to balloons in her room. Five years old = five balloons.
*Streamers hanging in the bedroom doorway. Five years old = five streamers.
*The house decorated for the big day with streamers, balloons, and whatever special thing is delighting Emmy at that time - flowers or butterflies or fairies, etc.
*The dining room table decked out for the festivities - pretty tablecloth, napkins, birthday plate and bowl, fresh flowers, birthday cake (waiting for the cake doesn't happen with us), a special book (more information here and here), numbered birthday candle and birthday ring *details below.
*Decorating her birthday cake made by Daddy usually with chocolate chips.
*Wearing her special birthday dress that she chooses at the store.
*Sharing her birthday poster made by Mommy with her friends at school during her Birthday Circle.
We celebrate each year of Emmy's life using a Birthday Ring, a tradition that begun in Germany and is popular with families following a Waldorf Education. This is such a beautiful tradition that reminds the child just how very special he or she is.
At every birthday celebration, we gather around and light Emmy's numbered candle in the center of the ring to symbolize Emmy's birth. We then tell the story of her birth beginning with, "On Tuesday, February 28, 2006, Emerson Elizabeth Clark was born to Chatrick and Amy Clark in Austin, Texas." As the story moves on, we go into a couple of details of her first year ending with, "And then Emmy was one." We light one candle on the ring. The story then goes on to tell things that happened after she was one ending with "And then Emmy was two." We then light the second candle. We continue the story lighting each additional candle, "And then Emmy was three (four, five)" After the last candle is lit, we ask Emmy what she is looking forward to doing/learning in the next year. Her answer this year was "I would like to learn how to snap my fingers and whistle." Seeing her life represented by such beautiful light brings my husband and me such joy and the look in Emmy's eyes shows us that she feels the same way.
In honor of Emmy's first birthday, we had a book made that tells the story of her first year. It's called The Rainbow Bridge Story of Emerson Elizabeth Clark.
Crossing the Bridge Books created this very special book with beautiful watercolor paintings, a personalized story and photographs. This site has changed 'webmasters' and now offers audio books to go along with the rainbow bridge stories as well as other personalized stories. What a wonderful keepsake! We read this book to Emmy right before bedtime on her birthday and hope she dreams of rainbows and angels!
These traditions will continue and more will come as Emmy, her Daddy and I continue to live our very best lives together.
I'm wishing you another year
Of laughter, joy and fun,
Surprises, love and happiness,
And when your birthday's done,
I hope you feel deep in your heart,
As your birthdays come and go,
How very much you mean to me,
More than you can know.