Raising Children

A letter to my oldest daughter on her birthday

Ten. 1-0. Double digits. I can’t believe my first baby is a decade old today.

I remember the first time I held you. Your wrinkled little face and big blue eyes. I remember rocking you as you slept, your little body curled up on my chest, your breath warm on my neck. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey…


I remember your first steps, your first skinned knee and your first day of kindergarten. You walked right in that big old school, wearing a backpack too big for you, with a smile and wave for your teary-eyed momma.

I remember curling up with you for an afternoon nap, and wiping your tears after someone hurt your feelings. I remember dancing in the rain with you while your daddy shook his head at us, and seeing the joy and pride on your face when you caught your first fish.


Sometimes it makes me sad that my little baby is gone, but looking at you now (almost as tall as me!), I am so proud of who you’re becoming.

You have such kindness and love in you. You work to make sure no one feels left out, and you have so much concern for those that are sad. You comfort your little siblings even when you are annoyed with them, and you have compassion for those in our world who are lost and hurting.

You are responsible and trustworthy. I can ask you to help and I know you’ll do it – which is a blessing that I know you won’t truly understand until you’re older and have children of your own.


You’re brave and fun. You love to try new things, and you jump in with both feet when there’s an adventure to be had. You make me remember how fun it can be to laugh just for the joy of it, the sound of your giggles making us laugh even harder.


You are beautiful and oh so smart, my darling. I stand back in awe that someone so lovely and so bright could ever come from me. You’re pretty on both the outside and on the inside where it really counts, and your brain and the thoughts you have continue to amaze me.


I can’t imagine our family without Layla in it, and I’m so thankful that God gave you to us.

So on your birthday, remember that you’re loved. Every piece of you, every moment of time that has made up your ten years of life. Every tear, every laugh, every whisper and shout. Every bit of us loves every bit of you. We love who you were, who you are and who you will become. And we can’t wait to see who that is…but in the meantime, slow down a little, will you?


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