I blinked my eyes and it happened.
You grew up.
You are growing tall, and sure. Your teeth are wiggly, and your pencil makes bold lines on the paper. Lines that draw spaceships, and train tracks, and princess dresses, and eyeballs. You love to draw eyeballs. Because eyes are our windows, and somehow you understand that. Without ever talking about it, you get that. The eyes you draw are big, and open, and wide. Just like you.
Your legs are long and you walk without complaint. Everyday I pick you up from school and you effortlessly walk home with me, talking about boys and girls, art projects, and numbers.
You recently told me you like a boy in your class, immediately my heart said not cool.
But my mouth casually said, “oh, really…?” As I tried to seem unaffected by this news.
“Yes, I chase him. He’s silly.”
“That’s good,” I said. “Because it’s important to be with someone that makes you laugh.”
But I’m not ready for this business of crushes and love. I need time to figure out what I’m supposed to say, read a book and ask friends what they did. Because I don’t trust my instinct.
“I want to marry him.” You told me.
“Well, you better make sure he has a steady job and doesn’t still live with his parents. What does he do? Is he in finance? Construction? Computer programming?”
“I don’t know what you just said, mommy. He’s in kindergarden.”
“Well, you’d better wait to get married then.”
“Okay, I will.”
You’re so smart. I know I say this all the time, but I want you to know it. I want you to own and trust your intelligence. You’re smart, not because you do so well in school, although that’s a by-product, but it’s because you want to know more, you crave knowledge, you ask questions and you are unsatisfied with mediocre. Stay this way.
I hold you to a high standard, not because I want to make things hard on you, but because I want you to never settle.
I want you to be bold and mighty.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength
of His might. Ephesians 6:10
I want you to find joy in all things. Yes, all things can be joyful. If you can find the joy in life, then your life will be meaningful and outstanding.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:10
Things might happen to your fragile soul as you tread deeper into your years, but remember to always keep your joy, your innocence, and be courageous.
I want you to be confident. Because that is where true beauty is.
Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair,
and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality
of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4
I want you to make mistakes.
And then learn from them.
I want you to always seek truth and listen to that voice in your head. That voice in your head is my voice, and as you grow it will become your own. Listen to it. Especially when you become a teenager and it’s past midnight. And let me be the first to tell you Missy, nothing good happens after midnight. I remember when I was in high school and out past midnight, I would end up crying, kissing a boy, or binge eating burritos from Del Taco, and most times it was a combination of all three.
I want you to shake things up.
I want you to be passionate.
And make a mark; on people’s hearts, on the world.
I want those around you to adore you and cherish you as I do, because you are irresistible.
I want you to be you, and to be the best possible you.
I want all these things for you because you are my beloved, my reward.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3
Happy sixth birthday Berlyn.
I love you.