I was speaking with some of the smartest people I know — camp counselors– about advice they would offer you after having gotten to know you these past few weeks. They came up with a good one.
Almost every little girl has that day..usually sometime around 2nd grade..where they come home feeling as if they have not a friend in the world. I’m not sure if it happens to boys–but having worked with girls I KNOW it does happen to them. When that day comes, please know that you DO indeed have friends. That the friends you have in second grade are going to be different than the ones you have later in life (Even if they are the same people, they will change in personality over time). That when your friends seem to have abandoned you, that you have a family that always has your back.
They also want you to realize that a friend is more than someone who likes all the same things you do, who agrees with whatever you say, and who you never argue with. A friend is someone who you can bounce ideas off of, whose shoulder you can cry on, who you CAN argue with but accepts your differences and loves you anyways. A friend is someone who will tell you if your make up causes you to look like a clown more than a person (but isn’t too embarrassed to be seen with you either way). A friend doesn’t need conversation to feel comfortable and a friend is something you will always have if you just know where to look.
Right now you are lil miss independent. You like friends but if you have to go it alone at something you are fine with that. You play by your own rules. When that day in second grade comes, and I hug you and my heart breaks a little as I feel your lonely ache–I promise to remind you of how awesome you are, to encourage your independence, to not hate the girl (or boy) who made you cry –especially when you are “best friends” again the next day, and I promise to be a good first example of real friendship and rest peacefully in the confidence that one day you will realize that even in your loneliest moments you had friends in the wing. You just had to be willing to look.
Though I don’t even come close to wearing it every day — I love makeup. I think it is fun to apply and play with. As you grow I’m sure you will discover it to some extent as well. My number one advice to you is that no matter how much makeup you have on, keep it simple. I understand that there are times where you might get a bit “edgier” — with purpose — but looking like this:
Is rarely conducive to one’s professional development or every day life in general. You are young and you are beautiful. Use your make up to accent the features you have that you already love. Never use it as a way to cover up the beauty God gave you naturally. You won’t be wearing makeup for quite some time but when you do, make sure to take a moment to look in the mirror. Make sure that under that layer of lipstick or eye shadow that you still see YOU. If you ever come to me looking like a clown instead of my beautiful and fresh faced kid/young lady — I will be the first to let you know! Leave the clowns at the circus.
One thing that I find positively infectious about young children is their ability to get excited over everything. When you think about it, it makes sense. Every experience is fresh and new. Most kids (sadly, not all) haven’t experienced much disappointment or let down yet from life. Life IS exciting.
As an adult I come across less and less excitement from those around me. Everything has to be shaded with areas of doubt, fears of let down, or boredom with the “same old-same old”. This fact really bothers me. Why shouldn’t adults be able to get as excited about an ice cream sundae as a five year old? Because they fear that it will land squarely on their hips and then they might be a size seven instead of a six?
I suppose adults do too much analyzing. I’m asking you not too. I’m asking you to let yourself get excited over going to the circus–both as a child and as an adult with your own children. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and show your excitement over landing a new job, not burning dinner, and not driving on the grass as you back out of your driveway. Don’t worry about so many things that you can’t ever get excited. Don’t worry that people may stare at you because you have a grin the size of the Grand Canyon on your face. If anything you might brighten someone’s day.
Right now you get excited over the best stuff. You get excited when the dogs lick your face, when you walk on your own, and when you successfully paint the wall by throwing your dinner against it. You aren’t afraid to laugh and shout or clap your hands. You ARE the definition of excited. Please stay that way.
(You will notice that YES we went from #36 to #35..because your mother can’t count)
In 6 short days you will be one year old! This weekend is your birthday party and I can’t wait to celebrate with you!
Don’t be afraid of aging. It seems the older I get the more people shy away from their birthday as if it is something bad, something they can ignore and make go away. In my opinion the fact that I was blessed enough to make it through another year alive is DEFINITELY something to celebrate at any age. I’m not saying that you have to have a huge blowout bash every year, but at least let people wish you a Happy Birthday without acting like they mentioned an assassination attempt.
If you are celebrating your birthday it means you have taken approximately 10,541,200 breaths, you have likely had somewhere in the range of 42,075,904 heart beats, and also may have eaten somewhere around 33 pounds of bananas–which by the way you currently love. When you wake up on your birthday please smile. Please know that I will always be glad to celebrate it with you. Don’t look upon another year with a frown because that is the fastest way to age UNgracefully. I am so glad to be sharing this life with you and to be watching you grow and no matter how old you get your birthday will always be a monumental day for me.
Here is daddy doing a practice run of your Birthday cake! Can’t wait to see it on the big day!