(Occasionally, my children have birthdays. To commemorate the occasions, I write them letters. I post them here not because they are relevant to the theme of this site, but as a back-up in case my computer eats the originals. Back to regularly scheduled programming next post.)
You’re six! SO big. You’re finishing up kindergarten and seem more grown up each day. You haven’t lost any teeth yet, which I’m excited about because I feel like as long as you have baby teeth, I can still consider you my baby. But I know the truth is you’re stretching taller, and God’s working His plan to grow you into a big kid, one day at a time.
The biggest change for you this past year is you started real school. Kindergarten. All day, every day. You go to a fabulous private school, and it has been perfect for your first year of school. You’ve been comfortable there since day one, and you’ve loved your teacher. Your favorite class is Art. It’s hard to tell what your best subject might be, but you are a phenomenal reader.
Some of the other kids in your class feel a little less-than because you have flown threw your reading assignments faster than everyone else. I have no doubt you’ll always be capable of being at the top of your class, but I want you to be aware that your intelligence doesn’t define who you are to God or to us. The Lord loves you because you are His. He made you. You could be dumb as a rock, and He wouldn’t love you any less because He can’t love you any less. That’s a tough idea to comprehend – that we don’t earn His love. At age 30, I still haven’t scratched the surface. But I pray YOU will KNOW in your HEART – not just in your mind – that it’s true. And just like God, your dad and I love you because you are ours. No matter what you do or don’t accomplish in life, we won’t love you any less because we can’t love you any less.
Another major milestone this year has been letting you try out different sports. You took a dance class, played a season of soccer, and participated in 2 sessions of gymnastics. We just wanted you to get your feet wet to see what you liked and what you didn’t. Your favorite so far has been gymnastics. I have two favorite parts of introducing you to sports: 1) you call that flavored sports drink Gatoregg, and 2) you smile constantly while you play.
That second point is nothing new. You’ve always had a great disposition (except those first three months of colic/reflux misery), and you’ve always been quick to pull the trigger on your smile. But your natural bent to enjoy whatever you’re doing went to a whole new level the first time (and every subsequent time) your gymnastics coach told you to run laps. The rest of the class jogged along, waiting for the boring to be over. Not you. You ran full-speed with a look of sheer excitement, like you could not even BELIEVE they were LETTING you RUN IN CIRCLES! That’s how I feel every time I see you express joy – I cannot even BELIEVE the Lord LETS me BE YOUR MOTHER!
You also continue to be the best big sister in the history of the world. Daily I overhear you gently teaching and encouraging Allie, and I smile. I wonder if you might grow up to be a teacher or a mommy or both. You’re also quick to help her, which is convenient for me – thanks. Of course, you girls find plenty to argue about – like when you’re “helping” becomes more of “bossing” or you do something for Allie instead of showing her how to do it herself. But you mostly mean well, and I know Allie loves you immensely.
The most important thing about the past year is that you continue to grow in your understanding of the Lord. We have this amazing storybook Bible we read that always seems to capture your attention and get you thinking. You ask insightful questions about huge theological ideas, and I have to figure out how to explain them to you in language you understand. (Don’t worry – it’s a challenge I LOVE.) I’ll go ahead and tell you now all of your questions about God will never be answered this side of Heaven. Don’t be scared of that fact. It makes sense that all the truth about an eternal, limitless subject like God can’t be crammed into our very small, terribly limited brains. The most important thing is to trust what you can know about God, and the Bible is the best place to discover Him. Live in it.
I love you more than any other SIX year old I know. Thank you for being my daughter.
“Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his…” Psalm 100:3