Yesterday you turned fifty six months old.

Four days ago your little sister turned two, meaning you've been a big sister for two years. It is not an easy job. I know this, firsthand. Little sisters have the better deal.

Little sisters know not what it was ever like without a big sister. They only know the family they were born into, how it is now. As Arden opened her gifts on the night of her birthday, you were right there to micro-manage the entire affair. All of us adults were horrified as you "let" Arden open her gifts. You didn't let her. At all. You opened every gift and flashed the gift in front of her and then moved on to the next gift as fast as humanly possible.

But the thing is, Arden doesn't care. She doesn't know that you're stealing the show. She only knows that you are the coolest thing on Earth, and if you want to open all the gifts, that's fine with her. As the adults, we gently reminded you to slow down, let her look, give her a task or two, but overall, we let it go. It was hard to put a damper on your excitement.

The highlight for me, however, was how celebratory you were, the entire night. You could have been sour and jealous, but instead you enjoyed helping us celebrate your sister. You wished her a happy birthday at dinner, you sang while I carried in the "cookie cake" lit with two candles. (You're the one who got the two candles for the cake from the drawer.) And best of all, for me, you happily wrapped the two gifts you'd made for her (a "game" on paper, with her name on the back and a Cinderella coloring page). At the last minute we decided the little plastic puppy set we'd found at Target to decorate her cake should be a gift from you. In all honestly, and I'm not just saying this, the puppy set was her absolute favorite gift. I don't doubt she loved it best because it was from you. It was truly a gift - it was something you would have wanted for yourself - it was very hard for you to give. She appreciated it.

I want you to know that I understand how difficult it is to be the oldest. I wouldn't wish it on any child. It comes with great responsibility and loss. But so far it appears you're balancing the negative with the positive, and I couldn't be more proud.

Happy Fifty Sixth Monthday.