Friday, August 1, 2014

Birthday Letter {My Daughter}

{I am attempting to write a letter a year to each of my kids. Since this one coincides with Nora's first birthday, I don't have any backlog for you to read. If you're bored, however, find a letter to Nathan here and a letter to Owen here.}

Dear Nora,

I've been trying to figure out what to say to you for a while, my sweet baby. I have so much to tell you that I can't narrow it down. My brain is bubbling over with words and advice and perspectives about raising a baby who will become a woman. I want to tell you how incredible it is to have a daughter who can learn from my mistakes and grow. I want to tell you how terrifying it is to have a daughter who can repeat my mistakes {and grow}. I want to tell you not to worry about peer pressure, to disregard society's negative influence, and to face your fears with eyes wide open. I want to tell you you are more than the number on a scale, the money in your pocket, and the sum of your parts. But, as you know, we've only just begun.

I have plenty of time to share these thoughts with you {lucky you!}, so today we will start with the basics. Today I am starting with five of the most important things I want for my daughter {and my sons, too}:
  • I want you to be brave. I'm not necessarily condoning skydiving {I am your mother}, but I want you to be unashamed. I want you to have the courage to be who you want to be, and to love who you are. Stand up for yourself, and stand up for others. Don't be scared when wrong is popular, and don't be scared when right is hard. Be brave enough to try, and be brave enough to fail.

  • I want you to figure it out. Find inspiration and lock into it, but make it your own. Spend time outside of your comfort zone and explore the world around you. Get in touch with nature, look deep into the eyes of your loved ones, and have frequent chats with Jesus. It will be hard, but you will find your purpose. You just have to try.

  • I want you to know you're beautiful. Not because of your piercing blue eyes, soft blonde hair, and gorgeous features. Not because of your designer clothes or your masterfully applied makeup or your number of dates {which will rest solidly at zero until 2044}. Know you're beautiful because you are wonderfully made. Know you are beautiful because you are loved more than you can imagine. Know you are beautiful because of what you see in the mirror, not in spite of it.

  • I want you to find happiness. And I want you to know that happiness will never, ever come from things. There is no amount of money that can make you happy, and there is no amount of attention that can make you satisfied. True, unadulterated happiness comes from within. It comes from relationships. It comes from love. Happiness is a choice and I want you to choose it as often as you can.

  • I want you to help. Be kind to others without thinking of how it will benefit you. Keep your heart open and your motives pure. We may not know the reason for this life until it is over, but the least we can do is help our brothers and sisters along the way. If you can make someone else's life a little better, trust me when I say it will help yours even more.
  • Today I can scoop you up off the nursery floor, get lost in your bright eyes, and know you're safe with me, but the second hand will always be ticking. This stage is one of my favorites, but it's fast. You are soaking up life like a little sponge, and your personality is blossoming. I can't wait to see what kind of person you become. I just hope I'm the kind of person who can help along the way.

    I love you, my daughter. You're a tiny, tiny part of a big, big world, but I hope you know you possess the ability to hold it all in the palm of your hand.

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    Kayla Dean said...

    This is simply beautiful. What a wonderful idea to write letters to your children.

    Karen Weido said...

    Happy (very late) Birthday, Nora. You are a cutie pie.