You’re FIVE. The number of years you’ve been alive barely fit on one hand.
(your mom is not handling this well, btw).
You’re a little girl.
This year cemented it. You’re toddler traits only making an appearance when you’re really tired or really don’t get your way (much to your dismay) – you’re beginning to shape into this little human with her own thoughts, and many of her own opinions.
You’re writing your name, you can count to 100, you’re full of spunk and sass and when you laugh – you laugh with your whole little body, throwing your head back, and it’s like the whole world gets brighter. You still think ice cream and sprinkles are primary food groups. You’re staying inside the lines when you color. You insist upon picking out your outfit every day. You’re a little sponge soaking in everything around you. It worries me constantly when someone says or does something that I don’t think you should soak in. I want to yell at them to stop it right there before they taint you, before they cause you worry, before this fairytale image you have in your head is popped and you find out that perhaps everyone doesn’t live happily ever after every time.
But I can’t. Because as exciting as it is to watch you grow and learn new things, this is part of that package too. The world can be cruel. But you know what the good news is? Happily ever after isn’t really the point. It isn’t that important. It’s not even attainable.
But you know what is? Happily right now. Happy day. Happy week. And the best part is – you have the power to make all of those things happen right inside of you. And you remind of us this every day, to enjoy the moment, to play.
I hope you never lose that. We always talk about fairies and how at night they’ll come sprinkle dust on us so we have good dreams. I hope you always believe in fairies. I hope you remember how to run around outside and get dirty. I hope you run into your loved ones arms when they’ve been away. I hope you always play and play until your cheeks hurt from laughter and you fall asleep on the floor from all the fun.
Be a light, little one.
I was at your friend birthday party this last weekend, at Crazy Pinz (my goodness was that an experience) and one of the things that most stood out to me was how much of a leader you are among your friends. People are always quick to call little girls “bossy” but you’re not, you’re leading. You’re taking charge. Don’t ever stop. Don’t ever let someone tell you that’s a bad thing. Speak up, even if your voice shakes. Speak up for yourself. For what is right. For what’s fair. For others. Sometimes all you need is seven seconds of insane courage to change everything, most definitely someone’s day.
I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to tell you this year, what my wish for you is that you never feel like you have to shrivel or shrink or change to make other people comfortable, to meet someone else’s expectations of what you should be. This world is crazy and it’s scary how much crazier it seems to be getting each year. With technology and screen time and social media growing as rapidly as it is, I fear what life will look like in twenty years. Do you know they’re note even teaching cursive in school anymore? And you won’t have books, but a laptop? Boggles my mind (I sound like Gigi, don’t I?)
I already see you little specks of you comparing yourself to others. You have the most beautiful, golden curly locks and yet – you want to straighten your hair like the other girls. My hair is wavy so I try my best to wear it like that so I show you that curly hair is beautiful too.
Please don’t believe that you have to change x, y, z before you step out as a light in the world. Please don’t believe that you aren’t good enough. You have a light and you must protect that light of yours. You can be kind or not, that is a choice. Words are power and if you use them as a dagger or as an ointment is up to you. But I hope that you choose to show up for people when they’re hitting the floor. Choose to spend the extra minute to hold the door for someone when you’re in a rush. Choose to find the good news in what can be a tragic news cycle. Choose to listen to your elders because they do know something that you don’t. Choose to forgive people, not for them but because holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to hurt. Choose to be light.
And I’ll give you a tip. When I have a hard time doing the right thing, when I really want to shrivel and take the selfish path, I need only of Mimi and Pop. What would Pop do? How would Mimi react? And then I have my answer. Seek out people like that that are role models to you. They’ll be your lighthouses in your darkest moments. The steady light that will lead you back home, back to yourself. And as I know you will, be that for other people.
Shine on, little one.
Don’t forget that you are unrepeatable, irreplaceable and there never was or ever will be anyone quite like you. The day you were born the world changed for the better because you are in it. The world needs you, uniquely, one-of-a-kind you, just the way you are.
And please never forget that i love you something fierce lily girl.