A (Belated) Letter To My Daughter on Her 7th Birthday

My beautiful, charming, infuriating, lovely daughter:

At church this morning, I saw a 3-year-old that reminded me of you when you were little: stripey tights, frilly dress, cowboy boots, hair in pigtails, and a smile poking out from behind her binkie. She impishly peered over her dad’s shoulder from the communion rail. A little bit later she was having a bit of a fit as they left….

Yes, just like you.

Where did that little girl go?

At yesterday’s birthday party I watched as your lovely new friends shouted out words – words to be inscribed on a birthday plate you would receive, words that describe you. My eyes welled up as I heard “happy“, “beautiful“, “funny“, “fun“, “kind” and “best friend” among the voices fighting to be heard. It was lovely to watch you giggle with your new friends, knowing how difficult it was to leave your old ones behind in the UK just a few short months earlier.


I watched as you curled up with a new toy and a new notebook, lost in your writing. (I know the joy of having a brand new untouched notebook.) It’s been amazing to watch your creativity soar as you create your “books”, writing stories and drawing pictures to illustrate them. You have such a lovely imagination and it is a joy to share your creations.













This morning, I saw a girl who reminded me of the girl you once were.

But right now?  I see a complicated little girl.

One who feels deeply, who loves her friends (and loves to show them through her hugs).

I see a little girl who has a hard time making up her mind some days (be it socks, tights, or which dress to wear), and one who is quick to apologize for any shouting or difficulty that might have occurred in the decision-making process.

I see a confident little girl with her gap-toothed grin, brave in the face of big change, inquisitive in mind and loving in spirit. In the past few months we’ve taken you away from your friends, the place that is most familiar to you, and returned you to “home”, where little is familiar save a few special friends you’ve kept in touch with. You have a new school, new routines, and a lot of homework…and you’ve taken it all on far better than I ever expected, with enthusiasm and focus.

You are growing up so fast, little one. Those short little legs you had for so long have turned into long lanky limbs; the neatly plaited hair, replete with bows and clips is seldom seen, and it its place is a wild, tangled mane.


…you are still not to big to curl up in your momma’s lap for a cuddle, or to choke your daddy with a “squeezy” hug that leaves him gasping for breath. Please don’t grow up too fast.

We love you just the way you are.

I’m a little late posting your letter this year, but only because we were having so much fun on your big day, and I didn’t want to waste a minute of it.












Happy birthday, my sweet girl. I love you…most.


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