Seventy two months, plus or minus

Dear Devil,

On this exact day six years ago, I was at our house in Houston, supremely grateful to be out of the hospital and to have my mother around, and more then a little gobsmacked at the job we'd taken on. I was counting your age in hour and days. Then, for the longest time, whenever anyone asked me how old you were, the unit of time was weeks. It eventually shifted to months, and now it's finally reached years.

You are six years old. The cliche is that time flies, and that's exactly how I feel, even though I remember events all along the course of those six years. Somehow it's gone by so quickly that I look at you and can't figure out where you came from or how we got here. We recently had to go to the US Embassy to renew your passport, and one of the things we had to bring was a photo montage to show how you've grown from a total standard looking baby to the gorgeous creature you are now. While I was putting it together, I realized that I could see the person you are now in those little baby and toddler photos, but I never would have extrapolated forward from those points to now.

This past year has been an incredible one for your brain - in the last few months something has clicked and all of a sudden you are voraciously reading everything you can get your hands on. You told me a few days ago that reading was your favorite thing ever, and I have to agree with you on that one babe - it is amazing. When you and Boo don't want to go to sleep right away, she climbs up on the top bunk with you and you read her stories by the light of a doll someone gave us years ago that has a necklace that lights up. Not the best thing for your eyes no doubt, but I have fond memories of doing the same under my covers with a flashlight for years, so you come by it honestly. And very often in the morning we'll find the two of you snuggled up together cosily, having fallen asleep together the night before.

You and the SRD are huge buddies, and you take your responsibilities as dog trainer very seriously. After an initial attempt to take both of you along to puppy class, your sister stayed home with me last week and you and Daddy had a much better time of it. You came home all excited to show me how to make him lie down, and you love taking him for walks on the Common. And I think all the attention from your friends and other people at school about the dog has made you much more confident - last week Daddy and I came to assembly to hear your class talk about their day at the Golden Hind and Tate Modern. You had to stand up and recite a line about the trip, and you did it with nary a hesitation or stutter - a far cry from last year's end-of-term school play. I'm not sure whether it was knowing the audience, practicing more, or just feeling more sure of yourself, but boy was I proud of you.

I love you sweet pea, even more then ever, and I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you.