Sage: 49 months

This letter is quite delayed.

I was pretty sick last month, for quite a while. I’m still not 100%, but I’m close.

This has been another big month. We’re making changes and progress. By your next letter, we might even be living in our new house; we’re still working on the final renovations, but we’ve gotten a lot done!

Soon, we’ll be getting you back into a daycare / preschool program. You’re very excited about this, and you’ve even planned some of the outfits you want to wear and some of the things you want to do there. You’re quite a planner; you’ll often say things like, “When I’m six or seven, I want to go on a Ferris wheel.”

You’ve made good friends with Uncle Matt and Aunt Lisa’s dogs – especially Ember, who will play fetch and tug with you. We house-sat and dog-sat for about a week, and I don’t think you wanted to leave. We also had a pretty good snowstorm while we were there, and you absolutely loved playing in the snow. You’ve told us repeatedly that we need to get you a sled. (There’s not much snow left at the moment – unusual for a Syracuse winter – but yes, we do want to get you sledding.)

You offer to help with just about everything – laundry, clearing the table, cleaning the floor. Sometimes you volunteer to do things just because you like to help. It makes us feel really good that you have such a generous heart.

Every month now, I’ve given you the same advice: be who you are. And every now and then I’ll remind you that this is harder than it sounds. Sometimes you have to figure out if the person you are is the one who follows her heart for herself, or if it’s the one who will sacrifice for people she loves. That’s never an easy choice; it would be wonderful if the two were never in conflict.

So here’s my second advice for this month: communicate. Talk to the people you love. A lot of love involves compromise, and you can’t reach a compromise if you don’t know what the other person wants or needs, or if they don’t know what you want or need. Be open. Be honest. Be real. It won’t always be easy, and sometimes it may even hurt if your wants and needs are incompatible… but it’s better to communicate. Nobody can read your mind, and you shouldn’t assume that you know how others are feeling or thinking.

I hope by the time I write the next letter, we’ll be in the new house and I can talk to you about all of those changes, and how you like your new daycare / preschool. I feel like the next few weeks will be big ones as your mother starts her new job and we finally start really settling in to our new lives here. Some of it will probably be tough on you, and on us, too. But no matter what, this will always be true:

I’m proud of you. You’re the most wonderful daughter I can imagine. Your mother and I both love you so much that it’s impossible to explain the full extent of it. And that will never, ever change.

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