Happy Birthday, Gianna Maria!

Dear Gianna,

6 years ago, you were born in San Gabriel, CA.  You were 8 lbs of sweet, squishy love.  Now we live in Daegu, South Korea.  You are 6 years old and 45 lbs of boundless energy and enthusiasm.  You are still chock full of love.  I couldn’t be more proud to be your mama.

On your birthday, you awoke to find the gift you had been longing for for months.  A brand new bike!

Even though you loved your shiny black bike (and were able to ride it!), we realized it was a little big and a tad heavy for you, so we headed off to Home Plus+ (sort of a Korean version of Target) to exchange it.  You were a little wary at first, but when you saw the only small bike available to you, you loyalties quickly shifted.

What 6 year old girl wouldn’t love a a shiny purple bike?  It has all the things your cool black bike had, but is a little smaller and lighter.  It is still pretty heavy, however.  Your beloved uncle calls it the “cast-iron bike” because it is indubitably sturdy

Thanks to our friend Tina, your bike is now totally tricked out with streamers and a water bottle.  She also got you awesome safety gear!  Your new doll from your godparents rides in the place of honor.  (Your sister Aliya is patiently waiting for you to become a little more steady so she can ride on the back of the bike like all the Korean kids do.)

As usual the Koreans have found out how to make an awesome thing even awesomer.  (Yes, Dad, I know that’s not a word.  But this post is not for you.  Gianna knows the meaning of awesomer and that’s all that matters.)

No, that’s not the bike after a terrible accident.  That is the incredible folding bike!  It has a hinge in the middle that, when unlocked, allows it to fold to half it’s length.

After a long day of Skyping and bike-riding, we headed off for some Beef and Leaf with your aunt, uncle, and cousin.  You, however, were beyond tired and ate nothing.  You simply stared at the television with a glazed expression while the rest of us enjoyed our delicious food.

Nothing could keep you from enjoying the cake you picked out, though: lemon with lemon frosting.  You rallied with a smile to blow out your candles and open the rest of the gifts Aliya and Gabriel picked out for you.

My darling girl, you are so special to us.  Just a few months ago, we had this conversation:

me: “Gianna, stop growing! I want you to stay my little 5 year old forever.”
you:”Mommy. I’m going to keep growing, but I’ll always be yours”

Now, thanks to nearly 2 years of practice on your balance bike, here you are riding your shiny 2-wheel bike incredibly well after only 2 days. 

And that is only one aspect of how grown-up you’ve become.

I guess I can’t convince you to stop growing.  But I pray that as you do, you continue to do so with the grace and ease of a 6 year old riding a bike.

All my love,