September 3rd, 2013
You’re 9 years old! Happy Birthday, sweet daughter! Sometimes 9 is old, because you’re the oldest kid around here and you help out so much in the family. I have to remember that you are, in fact, still a kid! You’re only 9! Be a kid still, my darling. I know you want to grow up and be strong and capable, because you are, but just be a kid too. Always! One day, some child, maybe your own, will appreciate the fact that you still know how to sit and put a puzzle together, or color a picture, or kick a ball or throw a frisbee. You will never be too grown up to play. Remember that! Playing is important. Playing with children is even more wonderful, because you guys still know how to live life. Just LIVE. LIFE! Mama wants to learn this every day, now, before you’re too grown up to have tea parties and color with me.
What a joy and privilege it is to be your mom. People tell me all the time how helpful you are, and conscientious, and servant-hearted, and just an all-around pleasant child. I always smile and say, “Yes. Yes, she is. She’s always like that!” And what a wonderful trait that is, my girl, that you’re true through and through. You don’t love some people and not others. You love everyone you meet! I know you still struggle with loving your brothers, but all siblings fight. Believe me. You can still be best friends, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love them. I’ll be praying for you.
Your Bompa, he was always praying. Most of all for his kids. He still does, and it gives me great comfort, even as a grown woman, to know that my daddy is praying for me. So honey, I promise to pray for you until I’m not living on this earth any longer. And what delight it gives me to know that when I’m in heaven, you and I will only be separated temporarily because my heavenly Father is your Father too!
You went to that tea party a few weeks ago, at Cecily’s house. She asked all the girls if they knew what their names meant, and you did. My “Christian” warrior! You wear that name with pride, and I pray that you always do! What an honor to bear the name of Christ. You bear it on your heart as well as on paper.
You had another sibling born this year, our baby Mercy. You, of course, stepped up to the plate once again! What would I do without you? Really. I’d be a lot more tired, that’s for sure! You’ve faithfully gotten up with Zach in the morning, these past 6 weeks, so I could sleep until Mercy woke up. You rarely complain about the laundry and dishes I ask you to help with, and what a trooper you are with the fragmented school schedule right now!
I love having more grown up conversations with you. Like our trip back from Rosie’s office, where we talked about birth control and sex. Or me explaining the “milkman’s kid” principle. (Thanks, Daddy, for telling that joke in front of our kids!)
I love that you trust me enough to ask questions. I hope you always do! I will always be honest and open with you, because I don’t want to hand that privilege off to somebody else, or the internet.
I know that you may have been fibbing just a wee, tiny bit when you told me I was perfect, but thank you! It did this mama heart good to hear that you were happy with me. Remember? I asked you if there was anything I could do different as a mother, that would be better. I asked if I should try loving you a different way (we talked about the 5 love languages), and you kept assuring me, “No, you’re perfect, Mom! You do everything just right.” You are SOOOOOOO sweet!
I love our Parenthood dates every fall. I love watching you develop friendships. I love watching you cook, and invent your own recipes, like wild onion soup, and lavender/mint/red raspberry tea. I love learning about weeds with you. You light up when you learn about plants — there’s just no other way to describe it! I love that you’re our family herbalist.
You made me a mother for the very first time, and what a perfect gift that was! I would not trade this journey through life, with you as my firstborn daughter, for anything else in the world. YOU, my girl, are the perfect daughter for me. I love being your mom. I love watching you change from child into woman. PLEASE take your time! Go easy on me. You handle yourself with such grace and confidence, and I am so proud of you!
Remember how when you were just 2 years old, you’d plop down, pat the ground next to you and say, “Let’s have a chat!” Oh girl, don’t ever stop. Don’t ever stop inviting me into your life. I love chatting with you! I’ll make mistakes, but you’ll always be my girl and I will always love you.