Five {a Birthday Letter}

 “Though she be but little, she is fierce” – Shakespeare

To My Darling Lucia Paloma,

It’s been five years since the day we first met you.  One entire hand.  Half of a decade.  1,826.25 blessed days since your tiny lungs filled with air and set us off on the most sacred journey.  Our dream come true. 

It’s been five years since I have been learning to be mama.  Five years since we have been learning to be us – in the imperfectly, beautiful, chaotic way that we are all we.

You awoke this morning to a room filled with balloons and pink roses.  You described the streamers hanging from your door as “the most beautiful car wash I have ever seen.”  We awoke to your giggles and the excitement of you stuffing balloons into your brother’s crib.

You my love, are an immensely creative imaginative child.  Just when I thought that your pretend play can’t possibly become more elaborate, you surprised me with your “snake warrior” transformation at bedtime last week.

You typically have multiple transformations each day.  Your love for dress-up has increasingly grown since the age of two, and you are most comfortable in some sort of costume, accessory or prop.  Head gear and wings are usually a necessity.

I am convinced that there are healing powers in the songs that you sing to me.  The soundtrack of your life must somehow make my heartbeat stronger.  Your little narrations are hysterical, this morning you serenaded us with a  tune about “bus children and hot lunch” – two school enigmas that you apparently want to experience first hand.

You love to dance.  You also love fancy – grand ballrooms, magnificent chandeliers, things that sparkle and poofy dresses.

This past year has been a year of tremendous growth for you.  When your Kindergarten teacher contacted me during school to inform me that you were “climbing the pipes in the school bathroom on multiple occasions” – I inwardly cheered for your adventurous spirit – since I’ve seen a bit more caution set in as you’ve grown.  You are changing my girl, at what feels like lightening speed. You are beginning to read and your growing empathy and compassion make us so immensely proud.  You are also beginning to ask the hard questions, often questioning the mortality of those you love – especially mine.

You have grown into quite the big sister.  Your brother’s arrival during your second year of life was not an easy transition for you – but now the two of you are little pals.  We awake to the sounds of you both playing in Adrian’s crib and we listen to your chatter as you two fall asleep at nightYou have a handful of interesting pet names for Adrian, including my squeaky, popcorn and bo bo.  When you return from school with a special treat in hand you always ask me to cut it half to share with your brother.  Your father and I love the little lingo that the two of you share – silly phrases that you have collectively created that only have meaning to you both.

Although we were unable to fulfill your birthday request of seeing a live volcano erupt we did surprise you with a family adventure to the Big Apple Circus – our first family trip under the big top.

As I watched your wide eyed five-year-old excitement, I wished for a glimpse of the lens in which you view your world.  If we could all live in the level of joy you reflect, I truly believe that this world would be a better place.

Welcome to five our darling light dove.  You are pure inspiration, hope and beauty.  May you continue to be the lovely person that you already are.

My deepest love,



  1. Oh my goodness! I am getting chills all over. This is one of the most beautiful posts that I have ever read. Your daughter is so lucky to have you in her life. The day she reads this for herself will be a magical day in her life. It has touched me, I can only imagine what it would do for her.

    She has a wild imagination that I am in awe of. I love that her birthday wish was to see a volcano erupt. I couldn't help but giggle at that. I hope that she never loses that wonderful imagination of hers…it will take her so far in this world…with it, she can do anything her heart desires.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Monica.

    xo Tami

  2. Monica, this letter to your daughter is absolutely precious. It's amazing how fast they grow up. My daughter is only 15 months old but I bet she'll be turning 5 right before my eyes. Your little girl is beautiful and she looks just like you! I can tell from your words that you are an amazing mother to her and to your son. Enjoy her birthday and cherish every moment.

  3. Monica,

    I have tears in my eyes as I read this. What a beautiful letter for your daughter, one that she will treasure always. Your love for her is tangible and your knowledge of who she is as a person is remarkable. Thank you for sharing something so personal.


  4. What a beautiful photos and a lovely post. It's crazy how time flies and it's nice that you've documented her life on this site. She will appreciate it. HAPPY BDAY!

  5. Oh, Monica! What a sweet, beautiful post for a sweet, beautiful girl!

    “The soundtrack of your life must somehow make my heartbeat stronger.” — I just love that line, and your love just speaks volumes through this entire post.

    May sweet Lucia have a wonderful, wonderful birthday! <3

  6. Oh, so sweet! You will have to show this to her (not just today…but years later when she's able to appreciate it in a different way, too!) The prettiest car wash….so freaking cute. 😉

  7. what beautiful images of this love. so wonderful.:)

  8. This post is so beautifully written. you really have a talent 🙂

  9. Monica, this a beautiful and sweet post! A wonderful Happy Birthday to Lucia!
    Beijos, Ana
    Happy New Years!!

  10. This is a really beautiful post. Your daughter is gorgeous! She looks just like you!
    Here's wishing your Lucia a very happy 5th birthday. 🙂

  11. What a beautiful letter to a beautiful 5 year old girl! Happy Birthday Lucia!

  12. Monica, I don't know you yet I do. This post examplifies why I always keep coming back here. You call your daughter pure insipration. You are pure inspiration to me. Continue to enjoy your children and I do hope that you continue to share pieces here. A huge fan in NYC, Clara.

  13. Your children are beautiful. I can tell how in love with them you are!!!

  14. Happy Birthday Lucia!
    Monica, I love the way you described her, full of spirit and love! Hugs to your beautiful family and once again Felicidades!

    Andie's Traveling Pants

  15. Happy birthday to a fabulous 5 year old!! Much love to you and LP! xoxo

  16. Truly one of the most beautiful things I've read. I teared up reading it for many reasons but mainly for the love and joy the pours through your words towards your precious daughter. Happy 5th Birthday to one lucky girl with a fabulous momma.

  17. Absolutely touching!! It makes me think of my own children…as much as I can't wait to see them grow up, it scares me to think of how fast they DO grow up!!

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