Berlyn is SIX


February 1, 2013

It happened.

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

At the American Museum of Natural History

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.



What a great tribute to a sweet 6 year old! She is so pretty and you are doing a great job being mommy to that gift from God. I don’t envy parents at all “these days”… it kind of scares me because of the world they live in that is so different from, certainly my generation, but also the generation you and Sarah grew up in as well. Just seems like so much “more” danger all around. Thank God we can trust Him to hold our children and love them ever so much more than we do.

by Judy on February 1, 2013

Beautiful girl both inside and out.

Good job, mommy.

by gorillabuns on February 1, 2013

Happy Birthday pretty girl!
I bet your mommy was tearing up when writing this to you!

by Julie on February 1, 2013

So sweet.. I can’t believe she is 6!!! She is going to be just fine! She has you to teach and guide her through life.. And you turned out just fine

by Debbi on February 1, 2013

Aww. A very happy birthday to Berlyn. :)

by Kelly on February 2, 2013

Wow. Berlyn is lucky to have you as her mom! I feel happy when I read this. Your passion for her is so refreshing – thank you for bringing up your daughter to be strong and confident. Thank you!! :)

by Meyyghinn on February 14, 2013

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