To My Baby Girl

Right now you are an adorable toddler and I tell you all the time how much I love you, but from what I read and hear, we'll go through some rocky times, you and me. The pre-teen, teen and young adult, mother - daughter years where you may find me either embarrassing, stupid, irrational, ridiculous, unfit, and annoying, some combination of two or three, or all of the above. There might be a few additions to the list along the way, but I'm pretty sure these are some of the emotions you'll go through, because at some point or another, they are the same I felt for my mom during those years. As for how I may feel about you in the midst of those delightful years? It's hard to imagine anything but sweet, endearing snuggles and joy right now, so really, I have no idea how your pubescent emotional irrationality during your young teen years, or your over confident infinite knowledge of all things, coupled with my total and complete lack of knowledge in all areas in your later teens, may affect  the displays of my affection. Without a doubt I will love you with the same ferocity that I love you now, but just in case you don't want to hear it, or I'm too upset to say it, and, so you'll always have it to look back on...

My baby girl, 

You are stunning. Not just beautiful, not just because you have the most amazing hair with the most amazing natural part, and not just because your big blue eyes literally sparkle and dance. You are captivatingly happy. Everyone sees it. People stop me all the time in stores to tell me so. Your smile is radiant and true. When you laugh, it's impossible not to laugh with you. Your eyes and hair are indeed beautiful, but they are not what defines beauty. Let your beauty be defined by the love you have for the Lord, and the happiness that overflows from that. I pray you are always so quick to smile, so full of joy, so easy to laugh. Happiness pours out from the heart. Guard it my sweet girl. Secure it with deep rooted promises from God.

You are tiny, my little princess, barely on the growth charts, but you are mighty. You have never once been slowed by your size. Not even a little. You climb, move furniture, or find another way, but you keep trying, seldom giving in to frustration and rarely quitting. This, girl, this tenacity needs to stay with you always. You can do anything and everything you set your mind to. I just pray you always remember the One who fearfully and wonderfully made you. The One who created you just as you are for this time and for His purpose. With Him, all things are possible.

You are kind and affectionate. You offer help, hugs and encouragement to your daddy and I, to Gram, and to your brothers. Even if it's just a pat on the back, climbing in our lap, or bringing a favorite woo-woo to one of us when you sense something is wrong. You are genuine in your concern, even as a two year old. When your daddy and I hug, you find your way between us, even though you only reach our knees, knowing that this sharing of love is special. You tell each of us, one at a time, "Momma, love em, Daddy, love em, Ti-Ta love em, May May, love em, Eli, love em." Your speech is a little slow in its development so you just recently got the 'l' in love and the 'you' comes out as a single 'm' sound, but when you call each of our names, you yell it so we are sure to hear and you  make sure we respond so you know we are listening. I love to watch you in these moments. I love that you take such joy in each response and that it's important enough to you to tell each one of us individually. You laugh with delight when we respond in kind, and you remind me that sometimes, telling someone you love them is worth yelling it over all the other noise of life.

You are uniquely you. You love pink boots, pretty bows, frilly skirts and anything sparkly. Yet, you love the outdoors, playing ball,  pushing tractors and digging in dirt. You are perfectly girly and completely tomboy all in the same moment and I love this about you! I hope you keep your sense of fashion, but never let it overshadow you. You can like pretty things, but don't let them sideline you from the game.  Be the girl that's not afraid to sweat and work hard, even if it is in your pink, sparkly shoes.

Sweet Sophia Bean, there was a time, when you first came to our family, that we struggled to make sense of God's plan, but now, even without fully knowing all He has in store, our family just wasn't complete. You were missing. Will we go through trying years? Will you find me irritating beyond belief? Who knows. What I do know is, you bring such sweet joy to our home, to your brothers, our extended family, to your Daddy and I...hear me say it now and hold on to it during those times when you earn a spank and think us unfair, or we send you to your room, or, heaven forbid, keep you from dating a dud, we love you. Now and always. God knew exactly what He was doing. Through growth spurts and bad attitudes, math homework and sports, fashion disagreements and boys, remember that He knew. I know I will.

Love, hugs and kisses,