Again, this birthday letter just a little tardy... just spreading out our celebrating.
Girl, you are a sweetheart. As my friend Kellie would say, you are sugar. Just that sweet. I love your shy smile. I love your loud, uninhibited laugh. I love riding the big swing with you at mother/daughter retreat. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh as hard as on that crazy swing. I love watching you light up around horses. I smile each time you expertly turn cartwheel after cartwheel. Straight legs, pointed toes, your body rotating in a perfect line.
I loved teaching you how to ride a bike. Well, I loved it when you got it. Thank goodness Daboo was there, because the experience proved more than just a little challenging. You were scared, fearful, and unsure of yourself. Despite your usual confident personality, I have seen this fear with physical challenges before. I don’t know if you’re more afraid of failure or of getting hurt - or both - but you totally overcame it. On a cool day at Bourland a few months ago, we finally took the time to get out your bike and learn how to ride it. Watching your success, working hard at something that didn't come easy, thrilled my heart. You got to where you actually enjoyed the dips and loops that came with a sharp turn of the handlebars. As your confidence grew, so did your joy in riding.
Even though you are now a big first grader, this is your first year going to “real school” - seven hours a day, five days a week. And it’s been a transition. Even with a great teacher and sweet kids in your class, I can tell the bigness of the school overwhelms you a bit, which makes me even more grateful for a couple of big, protective brothers.
You are quick to smile, quick to laugh - hard - and easy to be with. You happily wear the clothes I pick out (most of the time). We've seen you begin to assert yourself with our family especially. While it's taken some energy and effort to work through some conflict, I'm thankful to see you draw the line, to stand up for yourself, as it will benefit you in the years ahead. My deepest prayer for you right now is that your confidence comes from Jesus, your identity from Him. That as these next few years speed past us and you grow from child to young woman, you will know and appreciate and desire your Father's nearness.