Lucine, Loogoo, Lucy-loo, Lucy, Sousy, Luce, Souce, Luce-Pouce, Muffin, Muffy-muff, Muffy-head, Peanut, Lucy-bean, Lucia...
You turned five today. On a Saturday like today, you arrived at 6:33 am and changed my life forever.
It's been a while since I wrote you one of these. Your last two birthdays were spectacular celebrations of who you were at the time. When you turned three, we let you have a ridiculous Little Mermaid fest, completely with Daddy dressing like King Triton for you -- because you're just the kind of kid that people want to light up. Also, maybe, because you don't take no for an answer ever.
Last year we went with Pirate Princess (Daddy dressed up for that too) and that reflected who the four year old Lucy had grown to be: tough, fearless, adventure-seeking, but still cute and girly enough to want a flouncy skirt involved. Also you have this random obsession with money and treasure and although your parents are socialists, like Elyse and Steven we're fascinated to think that we may have an Alex P. Keaton on our hands.
I love that about you. That you can be the mermaid or the pirate, the romantic and the hero, the girl who is obsessed with kitties but also with climbing mountains. One second you are screaming at me that you are a big girl and can do things yourself, the next you are crying because you want desperately to be a baby again -- though my spidey senses tell me that what you want most is to get any sort of reaction out of me that you can.
This year, while at a family dinner party, Nate was reading dinner party questions out of a box. When it got to "If you could have any superhero power what would it be?" the rest of the table shouted cliches like, "The power to fly!" "The power to heal" "Invisibility!" Your brother answered first. He chose "The power to create a force-field around myself." You chose "The power to choke someone with a rope." On further interrogation you added, "But only to bad guys." Your Auntie Lise quipped that Nate was wise to choose that force-field.
We went to Lago Silencio, like we've been doing every summer since before you could walk. And, as always, you woke me at the crack of dawn, except now you know to keep your voice down (ish). Our morning hikes used to be a way to keep you from waking up the whole campsite. Now they are something I look forward to, a way for us to connect with nature and one another. Sitting with you and watching the lake wake up is one of my favourite rituals.
This year you discovered that you could do more with your body, that you could challenge yourself in new ways. I, of course, wasn't ready for this, but you told me to get used to it, in your own way. When I pointed to a safer path on the trail, you huffed and said, "Mom, I am going the other way. I want you to close your eyes and look away until I get to the bottom!" I had no choice but to comply. I briefly exchanged glances with another female adult, who had her hand over her mouth to stifle her giggles at your brazen way. Soon you were next to me, beckoning me to charge up another rock and then scale a straight 15 foot drop.
You took my "no" as a sign I was merely afraid. I threw your sweater down the side of the rock to show you how dangerous it actually was. You grew impatient, and for a moment I thought that your hand might be hovering around my back, tempted to push me forward.
"Fine Mom. We'll go your way." I saw your dad in the clearing, waiting on the beach with Nate. I rolled my eyes and flapped my arms in frustration at your mouthiness. You retaliated with, "You don't even know how to climb!"
"Oh, great. Now you're taunting me," I replied, making eyes with another adult female within earshot. "And she's FOUR! I thought I had another decade before I had to deal with the sass." This meant war.
"You're not even funny mom."
"Yeah, well I know lots of people who would disagree with you. Loads of people think quite the opposite."
"Yeah? Well they're wrong. Just wrong."
I will give you this: You are certainly funnier than Dad and I combined. We are doomed. We gave birth to the lovechild of Sarah Silverman and Amy Sedaris.
So today you turned five. FIVE! And you wanted an Olympics party, having just watched some of the London2012 games and falling in love with women's gymnastics (thank gord it wasn't synchronized swimming!). Your dad was a gymnast as a kid, and so it seems you're finally exhibiting signs that you might have some of our DNA. Anyway, it was that or princesses, so we encouraged the Olympics theme with its active/fitness message and the co-ed guest list.
You've inherited the drive of your two aunts. That desire to succeed, excel and challenge yourself is something you should be proud of. It means you will fall on your face a lot. But Dad and I are here to give hugs, wipe tears, kiss booboos and laugh at your jokes (and your road rash). And on the days you decide you don't need us, that you're a big girl and I should look away while you flirt with danger? Remember that when you get to the bottom (or rather, the top) Mom's the one who's going to need hugs and kisses and tears wiped.
I love you Tanko.