Today Anya turns four!
She's been excited about her birthday for weeks, and even woke up a couple of times in the middle of the night last night to chat about it: "Mom, what day is it today? Is today my birthday??"
Despite her excitement, Anya is a sensitive child, and easily overwhelmed, so I did my best to make her feel special without overdoing it. Presents in the morning, a trip to the store for a birthday balloon (this has become tradition somehow), I ate lunch with her at preschool and brought a special snack to share there, and a quick after-school trip to the children's museum, and her favorite dinner (spaghetti and meatballs) - it was just about right, though she did fall asleep in the car on the way back from downtown.
I'll spare you the gushy gushy that often accompanies birthday posts, but she is my girl and I am proud of her, so in honor of her 4th birthday, here is a list of 4 things you should know about Anya:
1) She has a remarkable memory. Example: the other day we were walking through the Chazen and when we passed the drinking fountains in the new wing, she stopped suddenly and said, "Mom, this is where you saw Scott!" The encounter in question happened about two months ago and only lasted a few minutes. I'd run into a composer friend (hi, Scott!) and we had one of those brief "catch-up-on-the-last-three-years-in-three-minutes" conversations before he had to go. I'd forgotten about it until she reminded me.
2) She loves numbers and counting. Anya and I play Parcheesi every morning after walking Daniel to school. Sometimes we play two or three games in a row. I usually let her win, but I've noticed she's gotten awfully quick adding up the dice and figuring out where her playing pieces will land. She has also learned how to count to 13 in Chinese and German from her preschool teachers (every day they count the kids in the class to see who's absent), and Daniel, who is in an after school Spanish class, has taught her to count to 39 in Spanish. She will demonstrate these skills to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen, I might add.
3) She loves to cut paper. Every night at pick-up time the biggest mess she's made is a layer of confetti on the floor of her room. Sometimes she cuts paper into bits, tapes those bits onto bigger pieces of paper, and then gives it to Daniel.
4) She is full of love and affection, though she is only comfortable expressing that with people she knows very, very well. I am lucky to be one of them.