You know I’m always gonna call you that, right? Of course you do. The other day, you pointed out that I still call Daddy “baby” from time to time. Thanks for not being offended.
You’re six today.
And I love you so, so much.
You are funny and smart and creative. You’re kind and thoughtful and you’re growing up so well.
Over the course of this year, you’ve become more and more you. And you remind me more and more of me. We share hobbies like photography and singing, but we also share strengths and weaknesses.
I don’t ever want to assume that you’re exactly like me. I want to keep learning you- who you are, what makes your heart happy and what makes it sad. At the same time, I feel like our similarities give me a little bit of insight into what is going on inside you, and I don’t want to waste that, either.
So this year, I want to tell you a few things both as your mama and just as a person who is a lot like you and knows some of your struggles.
You are loved.
Sometimes you express that you don’t feel that way. Sometimes I’m not loving you well. Sometimes I am, but my loving you well means setting boundaries that you don’t like. I promise I do love you. And do you know who always loves you well? God. I screw it up sometimes, but He never does. And sometimes He tells you “no” and you don’t like it, but He loves you in ways that neither of us can understand or imagine.
I realized this morning that it’s a really good thing I didn’t know who you would be, because I would have spent my entire life counting down the days to December 13, 2010 so I could meet you. But also? God did know who you’d be. And He loves you even more than I do. And, while it’s important for you to know that God (not you or I) is the main character in the big story of everything, I’m fairly certain based on what I know of Him that He was crazy excited to make you just how He wanted. Even more excited than I’d have been, had I known.
You are lovely.
Again, sometimes you don’t feel lovely. Right now, that means you don’t like what you’re wearing because I’m making you dress practically for the weather or for an activity, or because the dress you wanted is in the laundry because you’ve worn it for the last 96 hours and got food on it. But you are, and it has nothing to do with what you wear. The “not feeling beautiful” problem is likely to get harder in the next few years, and I want you to hear me clearly: you are lovely. And it doesn’t have anything to do with what you wear or how you look compared to somebody else. It has everything to do with Who made you. And not only did He make you, but you gave Him your heart, and He’s shaping it into something even more beautiful.
You can fail.
This is the safest possible space for it, in fact, and I’d like for you to learn how to handle it now.
Whether failure looks like inability to draw a horse perfectly, making a mess, or being mean to your sister and then lying about it, this is the time and place for it. I want you to learn what to do when your efforts don’t match your expectations. I want you to learn how to clean up messes and ask for help.
I want you to learn when your failure is just a mistake and when it’s sin… and how to deal with either of those.
I want you to become really good at admitting your sin, turning from it, making amends.
This part of growing up isn’t always fun, but it’s one of the more important parts, and it’s an honor to be your mama and walk through it with you. And while you are learning what to do when you fail, I’m learning and failing right alongside you.
We’re figuring this thing out, you and me. You’re learning how to be a person; I’m learning how to be a mama.
I love this journey with you.