My dear sweet Emma Kate,
Hey there baby girl, you are 10! I can’t believe it. I have yet to get super emotional on any of your birthdays. You know I’m not too emotional anyway, but this one gave me a run for my emotional money. I got a bit weepy, a bit teary. I’m just in awe of you and the beautiful ten years you have been in my life. They have been the absolute best and I would never ever want to do it again any other way. I also am slammed with the realization that time is passing so quickly and kids grow up and these years will soon be nothing more than a memory.
I didn’t write you a birthday letter last year. I am sorry for that but I was in survival mode. It was a bit of a crazy time. You turned nine and I was 38 weeks pregnant with your little sister and just trying to throw you a party and not go into labor, and get everything else ready in case I did. This year, I’m wondering to myself how many letters will I write you? I began writing to you your first year of life, month by month to document the milestones, then it changed year by year, and here we are ten years into it. Do I stop? If so, when? I mean you are old enough to read these now. My plan has always been to print them out and make you a little book, but now I’m questioning when? I guess I will carry on for now and we’ll just see.
This past year has been crazy and beautiful and at times quite awful for us. You have spent the past year in the shadows of your sister, Eleanor who was born 11 days after your 9th birthday. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that you’ve not gotten the attention that you were accustomed to. Don’t think I haven’t been aware of the change in our family dynamics, our time together, our relationship. Eleanor has been so demanding of my time, my presence, my energy, my everything. And yet, there you’ve been; ever loving, ever patient, ever gracious, ever kind. Never a squeaky wheel. Adjusting to these new changes and loving your sister so very much. Helping me when you can, and being the most beautiful human I know.
Having a baby sister appear on the scene 9 years into life has been one thing to come to grips with, and to add to that you lost your Grandy this past October. I know that has been difficult. You don’t talk about her, but I know you miss her and your Friday night sleepovers with her. I know you don’t want to feel sad, but please know that it’s okay. Feelings are so very important. We cannot go through life without them and they are the glue to humankind. All of us experience emotions. The situations may be different, but we all will know the feeling of grief and sadness at some juncture, and it is the common thread to what enables us to be able to connect to one another, to understand each other and to be helpers when others experience those same feelings. It’s a beautiful thing to have loved someone so much that you miss them so greatly. So please don’t ever be embarrassed or ashamed of your tears. It just means you feel deeply, that you loved greatly, and that you were greatly loved. Your Grandy loved you so much. You were her very special girl, her heart and her soul, she prayed for you before you were born, and I don’t know if I can ever articulate what you meant to her. Take the best parts of her with you, her big love, her generosity, her adoration of others, and let her love carry you forward in life. You have such a life ahead of you!
You didn’t want a party for your birthday this year, so we had a few friends come over to celebrate and spend the night. You and your girls had a fun time with lots of little girl giggles. You have some really great friends and you are a positive impact on so many as well. Always be the kind girl you includes everyone and you will never be short on friends. Remember the people you surround yourself with impact your life in a large way. They can take you up or bring you down, so choose wisely.
You are still in ballet and gymnastics and you are awesome in both. You are a graceful ballerina, who can actually keep time, and in gymnastics you can do 6 back handsprings in succession. It is pretty amazing to watch! You are a super student, always trying your best and setting goals for yourself. You are a fabulous big sister, full of love and patience and fun, and you are the best daughter I could have ever hoped for. You will always be on a pedestal in my eyes, Emma. No matter what. That doesn’t mean you’re perfect, and you never have to be, (don’t think that is what I mean), but you are perfect in my eyes because you are mine. My daughter. I pray you always see your worth. I pray you always know what you mean to me. I pray you always remember that there is nothing in this world that is too terrible that with love, family, God, and help you can’t overcome. Always know you can come to me for anything, anytime. I will be here to help, support, cheer, cry, laugh, or anything else the situation needs. I’m here. Always.
To my sweet ten year old, it won’t be long until your wings are ready and you will take flight. I cherish each and every day with you. Let’s make lots of more wonderful memories together!