What You are like at 6: / by Christina Rosalie

All legs and knobby knees, always outgrowing your jeans. Mood swings: sweeter than sugar, to darker than a storm filled sky and back in the span of an hour. Messes: a thousand snippets of paper strewn like snow; marbles always rolling off beneath the couches; legos wherever I step; erector set nuts and bolts never put back. Collections: old padlocks; post it notes in rainbow colors; the mailing inserts from magazines; stamps torn off of envelops.

You have a sweet tooth, and a soft spot for stories about gnomes and fairies and and anything magical. Your eyes get large and lost in the land of faraway. You listen with everything, drinking up stories. You fidget. You are stubborn. You take the easy way out except when it's framed as a competition or a teacher tells you to keep at it (then you always do.)

You snuggle. You wrestle. You like pizza and dumplings and requested them together with carrot cake for your birthday. You like looking at picture books and listening to stories read aloud for hours. You are teaching yourself to read and write. "I know how to write LOVE!" you proudly tell me. And you do. You write us all love notes, every day. We find them everywhere: stuck in things and to things; poked into pockets; folded into books.

Numbers are your thing. You just get them, almost without thinking. You put yourself up to new number challenges every day: doubles facts and multiples; adding and subtracting from small groups of things. "If we had three more," you say eyeing the egg box, "We'd have twelve," and if we had one more we'd have ten."

This winter we've started snowboarding and last week after we picked you up from your lesson, we did a few more runs, us following you down the mountain. And wouldn't you know? You went straight for the terrain: the jumps, the trail through the glades, the bumps. I followed after in awe, taking more risk than I would have done on my own.

And that's how it has always been, little one: you make me braver. You make me bolder. You make me want to take risks and dream big dreams. You continue to teach me daily how to be a mama; and also how to be my best self. You fill my world with light. I love you my sweet 6 year old.