Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Day My Baby Turns 7

Dear Juliana,

It's midnight, June 1, 2013, which means your 7th birthday has arrived. I should know, as you have only  been counting down since Christmas, marking each day on your calendar. I figured it was a good skill, so I went along. I didn't count on that making today feel so monumental. I pray that today, and every single day, you know how loved you are.

Yesterday, May 31, was a great day. You decided you could read a whole chapter in On the Banks of Plum Creek. So you did. Just like that. As much as you have fought growing up {including reading}, wishing to forever be our baby girl, 7 suddenly sounds like the right age to read a whole chapter. I smiled so big today listening to you read; mostly though I smiled at how proud of yourself you were. You went on to earn 100% on your spelling test and read your own birthday cards. I pray you never doubt yourself, and that you try new and difficult things.

First grade proved to be much more fun than kindergarten with you. We read all of the Caroline American Girl books, and 2 Little House on the Prairie books. When I asked you at dinner what you loved about school this year, that's what you remembered {well, right after you mentioned the 3 math books you did with Daddy}. The thing about you being my baby is I want to slow down and enjoy all of that with you. So we spent much of first grade snuggled on a couch with cups of tea, Caroline, and really good books. I cherish those memories. I pray we are always close, even as you grow and mature.

Gymnastics has become your great love this year. Sometimes I wonder if it's simply because it's different than what your big brother and sister do. You are your own person and you don't follow the crowd. Ever since the Olympics last summer you have spent part of everyday in a bathing suit doing flips and tricks on the couch. Tuesday is your favorite day since you get to go to the gym. I pray you blaze your own trail where you can, and you learn the joy of following others who have gone before you.

Two surgeries could have put a bit of a damper on your 6th year, but not our Sunshine. You handled all of it with grace and charm.

I hope there aren't more surgeries in your future, and yet I know that God created you to be able to handle adversity, and you will be a bright light even in hard situations. I pray you seek God through those moments, and you hold on to His love.

Sometimes you get a little lost because you are the youngest, and Gabe and Mckenna can do many things better than you can. However, something happened recently that showed me how capable and willing you are. Someone at church needed a lot of help setting up a whole room with the AWANA store. You were free, and you volunteered. She didn't expect a ton, but gave you jobs anyways. To everyone's joy, you worked the room like a pro, setting out toys and games, putting price tags on them, and artfully arranging each table. You were so helpful that the room was finished much sooner than anyone anticipated. I see a glimpse of your future, in which you are incredible capable and talented and sweet. I pray you serve God with all of your heart and all of your skills, for all of your life.

My sweet, sweet girl, if you only knew how much we cherish you. I will never stop thanking God for giving me the absolute joy and privilege of being your Mommy.

Happy 7th Birthday my sweet Princess!

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