You are six, and you are spectacular.
I mean, really. Spectacular.
What a year this has been for you. You are one of the big kids now. Going to Kindergarten. Riding the bus. Playing Little League t-ball.
You are still my baby. You still want Mama to be right there with you, but that is in your heart. Your body is running off, pouring its own juice and riding its bike and taking trips to the concession stand all alone. I can tell that your heart and your body are pulling you in opposite directions sometimes, but that’s okay, Lu. You can keep getting bigger and bigger and more independent and be strong and decisive and competent and then still come home and snuggle Mommy and get taken care of and be my little baby darlin’ when you need to. You get to have both. That’s what Mamas are for. To be a place you can curl up and be small when you need it and then to smile with pride at how big you are when you’re off braving the world the rest of the time. Lucky for both of us, I’m going to be your Mama forever. So you get to have both forever.
I’ll be honest with you. Even though you and I are as close as close can be, even though I’ve lived with you every moment for six whole years now, I still can’t totally figure you out. Your sister and brother are people I recognize, people I feel I can understand. You constantly confound me. This isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t make you better or worse than them. It just makes you an adventure of a whole new kind. You are a little bundle of contradictions, my introverted party girl, my joy-filled grump, my creative routine-lover, my beauty-obsessed mess. I can never predict you.
But here is what I know for sure.
You are full of attitude.
You are full of life, bursting with big emotion.
When something captures your imagination, you go after it with a single-minded enthusiasm that brings me to my knees.
(Remember the time you were getting a fish as a class pet? You worked for hours, for days, making a paper aquarium and toys and decorations and carefully following a routine to take care of your toy fish. Remember when you were studying plants and bugs? You built a flower in a pot, decorated the whole house with paper insects, and talked non-stop about gardening for a week. Remember the elaborate birthday party you threw for your toy dog? Remember the house you set up for your dolls? Remember how you learned a new word this year and would bring it out whenever I looked weary of listening to your plans? “Sorry, Mama. I just get obsessed with things.”)
You love beauty, and you are beautiful in every possible way.
You love your family, and you are so completely loved you’re practically drowning in an ocean of love.
And here you are at six, just beginning to take your place as a person who submits their strong, strong will to the wiser and stronger will of Jesus, as a person who is big enough to give and not just to take. You are ready for this. You are ready for the next steps.
You have been given everything you need to bring your inner visions to life, so I pray that you create beauty every day, that you add your own something amazing to the world you walk in.
You have been given a secure foundation. So I pray that you will step out and be brave and take risks that terrify and fulfill you.
You have been filled up with love. So I pray that you will take that love and pour it out all over those around you.
You are a wonder, and you’ve been told so enough times to make it the background of your consciousness. So I pray that you will forget all about yourself in the joy of making and doing and caring for other people.
If you can do that, you will be so happy. Happy no matter what waits for you out there. Happy no matter where your life takes you.
And you’d better believe I’m coming along for the ride. I wouldn’t miss this adventure for the world.
I love you, baby.