I did one of these for Alex a couple of months ago and now it's Maya's turn...avert your eyes if you don't want to read a completely biased account of the wonderfulness of a particularly spectacular newly minted five-year-old.
1. I love your sense of humour. I love your belly laugh, I love when you crack a joke and then laugh at yourself. Raising your glass to your dad when you were three, you announced, "Dad, you are a glorious man!" then gave a chuckle. You invented a one-year-old bald baby with a moustache named Gordon who is responsible for any malodorous smells that permeate the house or car. You are a great mimic.You're just damn funny.
2. You are a ray of pure sunshine. "Don't worry Alex, I still love you." You're affectionate and warm and always see the good. You sing and hum to yourself all day. You draw light in from all around you and reflect it back tenfold. You smile more than anyone I know. You are radiant.
3. Your creativity. You sing, dance, write stories, draw. You make up wonderful names for all of your toys. You perform hip hop and jazz without music. You make up your own song lyrics. "Family is important, they make me glad, I go and give a cuddle to my mum when I feel sad."
You are always expressing yourself. You write beautiful stories. "Damia's eyes were bursting with bigness."
Your love of books and stories, the way you get totally absorbed and lost in imaginary worlds.
4. Your temper. You throw things, get worked up, scream, spit (!), throw yourself on the floor, and then five minutes later the cloud has passed and it's like nothing has happened. Let it out girlfriend. Your spiritedness. If it's something you believe in, you don't take no for an answer.
5. Your self assurance and individuality. A relative commented on your round belly. "That's how my body is supposed to be!" you protested hotly. When asked what you would like, you don't murmur meekly, you boldly state your preference. "I don't really like macaroni but I would like some spaghetti, please." Your suggestion that I "decorate the lounge room a little" during the night so you would have something nice to wake up to on your birthday. "It's a school day but it's still special", you reminded me.
Lately you've taken to wearing a different coloured sock on each foot, because you like it. You know exactly who you are.
6. Your generosity. You would share your last grape with any one who needed it. (you love grapes). You are always looking out for other people. You're always willing to lend a hand, to try to make someone feel better.You lavish people with good feeling, you share your natural resource abundantly.
7. Your enthusiasm, your appreciation of the little things, your perception of detail - smells, sights, sounds, you revel in it all. You embrace life. You inhale deeply when we hug and say, "Mama, you smell so good that my mouth gets extra spit in it when I smell you." You run off the bus every day and into my arms. Your love of reading, and how pleased you are with your own efforts and progress.
8. Your optimism. You always want to believe the best in people. Sometimes I want to protect this in you, from people who might take advantage. You don't have a cynical bone in your body. This is a gorgeous part of who you are. You're always looking for the silver lining.
9. Your empathy. When Alex worries about the duties of adulthood, and who will help him when Mum and Dad die, you say, "Don't worry Alex, I'll drive you places. You can live with me."
10. Your affection. Your little hand slipped into mine that feels just like a tiny hug.
Happy birthday to my opinionated, creative, curious, free-spirited Maya.
Once upon a time you see
In a strange land not far away
I met perchance a little bee
In a most unusual way
And when I asked her who she was she told me Maya
No other bee could ever be like Maya
Maya why'd you question me?
Why is "no" no answer for a bee?
Oh my she's always in a pretty pickle Maya
Helping everyone is little Maya
Maya everyone loves Maya
Come tell me what you see.