On the Eve of Your 7th Birthday

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On the eve of seven you are playing in mud puddles.

You’re searching for insects, and making dandelion wreaths.

You chase your brothers around in the yard and you stumble after them as they try to evade your capture. They shrink with joy and you giggle mercilessly.

Your headband flops down becoming a necklace around your neck. Those long, strong legs of yours carry you everywhere you want to go.

And girl, you have no idea how far you can and will go in this world.

The strength that encompasses you is only a small fraction of who you are, but it will make anything possible for you.

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Your immense compassion and that great big heart of yours are such beautiful gifts. They also worry me at times because I understand them all too well. And I know what that can do to a person. But you’re a much better person than I could ever hope to be so I know you will handle it with grace.

And that big ol’ brain of yours. You have the ability to do anything in this world that you ever could possibly desire. But I also want you to know that even though you could do great, grand things that society will tell you is amazing, it’s okay if you don’t want to. Maybe you will find a cure for cancer or for some other disease we don’t even know exists yet, but it’s okay not to do those things too. Just because you have all the “potential” in the world – it’s okay if you want to live in a studio apartment in Greenwich Village and create statues all day out of trash. There is beauty and merit and value to that, as well. Even if the majority might not realize that quite yet. If that’s what makes you happy and that’s what sets your soul on fire, do it my dear girl. Do it!

With my full and wholehearted blessing I want you to do what ever it is in this world that makes you happy. Even if it is something I don’t fully understand.

I see glimmers of the woman you’re going to be someday. And we both know she’s a force to be reckoned with. We both know that she is unbelievably amazing. She is kind, but she is a warrior who will not be hushed or pushed aside.

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I do not know where you will go in this life, but I know that it will be wherever it is you want to go. Because no one will ever push you around. Exhausting as that precocious and fierce personality is to parent now, I know it will serve you so well. You could not give two fucks about arbitrary rules. You care about the things that truly matter and that my dear girl, is what this world needs.

You have the blood of mighty Mayans flowing through your veins. You’ve got the steel determination of Vikings and the luck of the Irish in your blood. Utilize them to your advantage.

And life is hard, kid. Some days it’s so hard you’re going to want to drag your feet through the sand and give up. But you’re not the kind of person who will ever give up. There is so much ugly in this world, and I wish I could eliminate it for you more than anything else in the world. But I can’t.

But there is also good. So much good around every corner if you just take the chance to find it. Sometimes it’s buried, but it’s worth going on a treasure hunt for. Because when you find it, it will permeate your soul and radiate the world around you. And I will continue to raise you and to encourage you to be the very best person you can be, so that you will be a beacon of goodness in this world that sometimes can seem overwhelmingly dark.

Tomorrow you will complete your 7th circle around the sun.

A little lady.

It’s moving so fast and you are growing at a rate my heart and brain sometimes argue over.

But today you’re making mud pies, my dear girl. And playing with your brothers.

And I hope you continue to be that sort of human as the years race past ever too fast.

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