so this is five

Lucy climbing

She never stops climbing, this one. If there’s a fence, she’s going to scale it. If there’s a bouncy castle, her toes are going to touch every surface and spring off again. If there’s water, she’s going to dive into it.

She never stops climbing.

Lucy running toward the beach

And she never stops running.

When she was inside me, we knew she’d keep us on our toes, since she danced and wriggled and moved her head about to some internal rhythm, always. And now, we know. This is who she is. This kid feels best when she’s running hard, the wind in her hair.

I took this at the beach, when she could smell the ocean just over the hill. “Come on, you guys! Come on!” she shouted, then turned back to face the wind to see the waves.

Lucy excited for the rides

She is almost always excited.

Oh, she has her moments, when she’s a little sad or tired, mostly when she’s hungry. She seems to have the metabolism of a hummingbird, so when she has gone a little too long without food, she crashes hard. But 95% of the time, she is giggling or spinning or holding the arms of her friend and jumping up and down squealing as she realizes it’s time to ride the roller coaster for the first time.

It won’t be her last.

Lucy reading_

If she’s not spinning or dancing or climbing or running, she’s reading. She loves her books. She loves us to read her books. Mostly, right now, she loves to hold books open in her hands and pretend to read us stories.

Most of the time, she’s telling us about her recipes. “And these are my sugar beignets. Would you like some?”

(She doesn’t know yet that we’re working on a gluten-free beignet recipe for our next cookbook. She’ll have that eyes-wide-open expression, then do a little dance when we hand her one.)

Lucy and Anna at the festival

She has made some dear, dear friends in this world. She loves nearly every person she meets. (The people she doesn’t like — we don’t trust. Her favorite words for bad guys at the moment? Twerps. “The stepmother from Cinderella is definitely a twerp, Mama.”)

She goes to playgrounds in every city we visit, and within ten minutes she is arm in arm with a girl or boy there. But the friends she knows well, like Anna, in this photo? She dotes on them. She talks about them. She adores them.

It’s wild to see how much of a community she already has.

Lucy after her haircut

For more than four years, this kid has given us joy. Sleepless nights, frantic times of worrying about her health, wonderings about the best things to do, a messy room, and scribbles on the walls at times.

But mostly, she has given us joy joy joy.

Lucy is five

And yesterday, Lucy turned five.

So this is five.

For the past few months, she has been asking us nearly every day: “Now is it time for me to turn 5?” She has been yearning for it, this age of becoming a big kid. Don’t go so fast, we’d tell her, knowing it was useless. Slow down a little, kid.

This kid? Slow down? Not a chance.

Lucy climbing the ride

Keep climbing, kid. Climb as high into the sky as you can go.

Lucy leaping

Keep leaping. We love watching you grow up, Lu.

Keep dancing.

We’re here, dancing with you, noticing all that light.

41 comments on “so this is five

  1. Zena Herbert

    Lucy is so lucky. So many kids are told, ‘Be quiet! Stop fidgeting! Stand still!’ They get squashed before they’ve had a chance. Happy birthday, Lucky Lucy.

  2. marcella

    Happy Birthday Lucy! 5 is the best. My son often told me he was going to stay 5 forever because it was so fun. Also, the other morning I thought of a couple more fun books to read together — nearly anything by Beverly Cleary and also Pippi Longstocking. We laughed a lot reading those books together.

  3. lauren

    Happy Birthday Lucy! What a happy child :) (ps. my mom says i sobbed when I turned 6 because I was convinced nothing would be better that 5)

  4. Shannon

    My 3rd turned 5 a week ago. All last year, she asked every day if it was a play day or a school day (I homeschool her siblings) and she was always so thrilled to hear if it was a play day. But now she’s 5, and 5 is when she will start her kindergarten books when we do school in the fall.…so now, every day the question is if it is a school day yet, because she’s ready to do school, and the slightly martyrish sigh when she hears it’s another play day…! Happy birthday to your ball of fire/bundle of joy!

  5. Janet

    Now when someone’s asks, How old are you? She can give them the whole hand, Happy Whole Hand Year! Enjoy the Wave…

  6. Jenn Sutherland

    Oh, we are sending a tremendous hug to Lucy and a big high 5 for her big birthday! Miss you all so much…and hope to see you this fall, here or there!

  7. GlutenFreeToo

    Thanks for sharing. I always wanted kids but never had any, and I love seeing other people share pictures and stories of theirs, so I can share the joy!

  8. Eileen

    Very little has given me as much joy as seeing your Lucy grow and become the amazing child she is. Looking at her.…you just get this sense about her.…she is an amazing spirit (old soul too). You and Danny are doing such a great job guiding her. Thank you for blessing the world with her. HAPPY #5 BIRTHDAY LUCY! Yes, keep soaring : )

  9. Mira C

    Happy Birthday, Lucy! What a ball of light she is. I love the photo of her in front of the green door — her joy, her excitement for life, her compassion, it all comes through beautifully. What a lovely girl and a wonderful family.

  10. Sara

    What a lovely Ode To Lucy. Happy Birthday sweet girl. Thank you for sharing this special time with your blog readers. I felt your love for her in every word.

  11. Kait

    Happy Birthday, Lucy!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us. So much joy!
    Blessings!

  12. cindy

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCY!!! if I had your addy I would make you a card with all the colours of the rainbow, really I would. HUGS and have super great day starting to be 5. and mum and dad, you are doing a fantastic job, enjoying her unencumbered with all the sociatal beliefs. I enjoy your dear daughter in her life with you guys and at 56 with two grown children of 35, 33 I wish they were 5. I would do so much different and not worry so much and just ENJOY! And I will send her a card if you email me your addy. HUGS to you all!

  13. EmSewCrazy

    Happy Birthday to Lucy! What a lovely little daughter you have. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. I recently discovered you and it has been a breath of fresh air in my gluten free life. You make me want to enjoy food again.

  14. Gail

    I love the balance — her running/climbing/spinning and also her passion for books. Those things don’t always go so very hand-in-hand in people. She’s a joyful, beautiful bundle of lovely fiveness!

  15. Bonnie

    Happy birthday to Lucy!! What a blessing it is to have children. Such a blessing for her to have such amazing parents.

  16. Katey

    Sweet Lucy! What a bright beautiful spirit. This is such a touching tribute to your daughter, Shauna. You and Danny are lucky to have her and she is equally lucky to have you as parents.

  17. Lynn

    That photo of Lucy, by the green door? Incredible. That is the sweetest picture of her yet. I’m so glad you share with us, Shauna. It’s like she has all these long-distance cousins she will never know. It’s an honor and personally I have cherished it all along. Bless you. Happy Birthday, Lucy!!!

  18. Angela

    Happy Birthday to Lucy! My daughter Amelia just turned 2 on the 22nd, no wonder they seem to have so much in common! She loves to dance and I knew she’d be a mover when she was inside as well, she hasn’t failed to disappoint much like Lucy. :)
    P.S. Sorry I missed both of your appearances at Issaquah and Snoqualmie libraries, I was so looking forward to it but I was really sick. Hopefully you will be around again soon!

  19. Emily

    I haven’t decided if I want to have a child yet — but every post I read from you about your child and the beautiful life you have created make me feel, that if I do make the choice to have a child, this is the life I would like for my little one. She is beautiful, and your adventures are a joy to read.

  20. Jen

    Love Lucy and your family.
    Thank you for sharing her with us.
    {and I am very much looking forward to your beignet recipe so I can try one!}

  21. Emily

    So precious…what great photos. I am a new reader to your blog and falling in love with all of your recipes!! I am curious, do you keep an entirely GF household? Are your daughter/husband GF?

    The reason I ask, as a newly diagnosed Celiac I am currently living with and sharing a kitchen with people who are not and it can be very difficult at times.….