Sunday, January 20, 2013

An Open Letter to My Daughter on Her 8th Birthday

Birthday posts for my children have been a part of the blog for years now.  I rarely go back and read old posts, but when I do, I reach for the birthday posts first.  This year I have decided to be more intimate with my tributes and share my momma heart with them and with you.  What better way to celebrate life in general and my daughther's life in specific than to press the pause button of life and rest in the poetic stillness of a girl's journey through childhood.  A universal truth no doubt, no matter your age, your gender, or your place of status.  So here you go:

My sweet girl,
You are blossoming before my very eyes and I am one proud momma!  You came into this world with an energy that transformed my life and set our feminine line of familial legacy on a new path forever.  If I was born to break the chains of oppression, then I feel like you were born to embrace and celebrate freedom as a birthright.  I believe you understood your purpose right from the start.  

In the very first moments of your life a picture was snapped that revealed your true essence that I am now beginning to see actualized in your life.  The nurse held your tiny body over a faucet with running water and the look on your face told the opening act of your life story.  You were enjoying the pleasure with reckless abandon allowing peace to wash all over your body and soul.  Every day since that first day, I have beared witness to your many moments of weaving that sort of balance into your childhood and I am blessed by your presence on this earth.

A couple of nights ago I got to sneak a peak of this reality in action and though your eventually knew I was watching, for a few moments I got see what’s developing inside your strong heart.  I got a glimpse of your soul without the masks you are sadly learning to put on, as you learn to navigate the real world without my constant momma bear protection all the time.

You were doing your chores in the kitchen after dinner and had asked to put your music on.  Out of the speakers blasted a worship song that is like breath to you and I saw you lose yourself in the melody.  Even while still working, I saw you twirl around the kitchen not caring about anything else in the world but your creator... an act of worship unlike anything I have ever experienced.  You were fully in yourself and fully in love.  Until my dying day I will hold that visual close to heart and it will most likely be one of the images I carry with me over to the next life.  Thank you sweet girl for teaching me how to love life, love God, and love self.

So on now to some pieces of  motherly advice that you will no doubt roll your eyes to now, but will be seeds planted when you need them some day:

* 8 is a hard year.  Just know that upfront.  You are bridging from young, cute, and innocent into fully elementary age, beautiful, and wiser child.  You have developed your personality and some are beginning to put their baggage onto you...even I catch myself doing that sometimes.  Know this:  When or anyone else, react strongly to who you are, it is more about us than in will ever be about you.  Sometimes when adults see reckless abandon and freedom like you live, it reminds us of the time before our freedom slipped through our hands and we project outwardly our envy to try and stop our own sorrow.  Do not internalize such acts of aggression, for if you do your freedom will slip away.  If you can let it bounce of of you instead you will not have such bitterness later on in your life.

* I am seeing a transformation in you now that you are aware of so much more and I am watching you navigate in the social world.  I have watched you employ deception in order to survive in your life and I am so sad.  Every child employs deception to navigate through all of the have to’s and should’s, some do a self deception where the adults around them have no idea what lies are going unchecked.  Others choose outward deception to avoid consequence and responsibility.  You are naturally bent to choose that second defense and 7 was a year where you were being constantly confronted about that choice.  I have been very tough on this behavior in your life and you are learning and growing in this area.  You have obediently taken my discipline and are rewiring how you respond to things in your life.  It will be a lifetime struggle for you I think and I want to offer this wisdom to you, as I believe it reminds us both of who you are and what your bottom line is.  You did not begin to change your lying behavior until I was guided to use this wisdom with you and then in an instant you understood.  That became the beginning place for you to self evaluate and begin to choose truth over emotional safety.  I mentioned to you that when we choose a lie, we give away a part of our freedom which in turn steals our joy.  That for you was a deal breaker and I celebrate that milestone in your life!

*You have officially hit your first awkward stage and for some reason it seems the world is harder on female awkward stages than male... or maybe awkward stages are harder for females than males.  I don’t yet know which is true or if they are both true...perhaps we can learn that together someday.  I watched your older brother navigate through this stage and he came out on the other side stronger and kinder, so to you I will say this:  Everyone must face these awkward stages of development.  You are completely normal and doing just fine.  I know you feel like your don’t fit quite right in the world right will find that groove after you go through this emotional growth spurt.  In the meantime hold fast to the the reality that you always fit with me and you always fit within living grace, so as the dust settles remember that I still see you, God still sees you and you are an incredible human being.

It is a joy to see you growing into this compassionate, kind natured girl child.  Happy Birthday to my sweet girl!  My dream for you this year is simple:

Soar my baby, Soar!

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