Since I am flooded with emotions and thoughts lately (and every year at this time: birthday season), and since I am very “behind” on keeping up with this blog I decided not to attempt a long letter to each of my birthday kids (Braxton being next). It seemed too intimidating right now which I why I have been putting it off. So instead I figured I would just jot, or type, some blurbs and random thoughts to each of my kids, starting with the one who made me a Mommy: my sweet, beautiful Hayleigh Grace.
Crafts and coloring. Playing elaborate pretend games with Braxton-usually restaurant, or birthday party, or recently Robin Hood or Pirates. (You are always the most feminine and delicate character.) Royce. Yep. She is still one of your favorite things. She can do no wrong. You love to squeeze her face and do “nosies” or try to pick her up (really just pull her back on your lap and put her in a choke hold until she has to scream and punch her way out). You sing lullabies to her in your shared room at night (usually Frozen ones). You get excited every time she does something new and have asked for months if she is a “tobbler” now. I know I should correct you and say toddler but I want to hold onto the few things you still say wrong because it reminds me you aren’t quite as big as you like to act.
A few questions I asked you: favorite song? My God is #1 (from Hot Spot)
favorite animal? piggies and those birds that are pinkish… me: flamingos? you: yeah. Cuz they’re pink.
favorite color? pink and purple and coral (this was before it was apparently blue)
favorite food? pancakes, tacos and taco mac and strawberries
favorite movie? Frozen!
favorite toy? mostly my Disney princess dolls and my Sofia doll and my Felicity Doll
favorite book? The Jesus Bible and Princess and the Pig
favorite place to go? my preschool
What do you want to be when you grow up? A virtue and a bakery who bakes dinners and desserts and a Mommy and a teacher.
What you want for your birthday? Frozen things and a flutterby fairy
How will it be different to be 5? I will get to wear earrings all the time and get my ears pierced.
Some of my favorite things about you: Your spirit. You have such a tender, sensitive spirit. You are intuitive, compassionate and wise beyond your years. I think sometimes you sense and feel more than you are capable of understanding and managing. Your feelings and perceptions are older than you are. Don’t shy away from your feelings. Don’t hide from the things you are able to pick up on. We need to learn how to manage them, together. It will probably always be somewhat of a challenge for you, but I see this an an incredible strength, a gift from God. He wired you to be able to care for people in a wonderful way. You can sense their needs, beyond the surface. That, coupled with your genuine love and compassion for others, gives you a unique and beautiful ability to love others as Jesus did. You often inspire me. What I have to discipline myself to do comes so naturally to you. I love that about you. I pray I can nurture it in you and that you never lose your ability to see others and put others first.
Your imagination and creativity. You are always dreaming something up. A party, complete with decorations, invitations, a menu, a schedule etc. A wedding dress and bridal party. A game that you get so entranced in, it consumes all of you attention and energy. I see so much of myself in you in this area. As a little girl I remember being so captivated by my own ideas and games that they seemed so real And I wanted them to be real. And for moments in time, they were. I still find my mind spinning with more ideas than I can juggle. Sometimes it paralyzes me. Sometimes it excites me. Sometimes it frustrates me. Sometimes it fuels me. I know you are the same way. You are always asking me if you can make something or throw a party or some other big, elaborate idea. You even have mental lists of all the things that are spinning around in that brilliant brain of yours. I love your passion for your ideas. I love your passion for life. I love to see you creating and imagining. It brings me back to a time where I thought nearly anything was possible. I don’t want to crush that in you. Some day God will use your talents and exuberance and endless ideas to do big things.
Your leadership capabilities. A year ago I may not have said this, but you have grown so much the past year. You are a leader socially, here at home and also at school and church. You are much more confident and outgoing. You are friendly and enlivened by social settings. At times there are still insecurities that sneak in and come out to me. I love being able to hash through them with you and give you simple solutions that you get so excited to implement. Because we are so alike I hope to be able to guide you as one who has been there before. I know you have to learn some things for yourself, but hopefully I can point you in the right direction and hold your hand along the path as you need it. I want to give you the tools so that your leadership ability flourishes, so that you are confident enough to not follow the wrong people in the wrong directions, but rather lead people the right way-even if sometimes it is unpopular or you feel as though you are leading no one but your own wandering heart. It isn’t easy to have people look up to you, I know. It is a weight and burden we may feel we never asked to carry, but I hope to help you carry it with grace.
These things about you are characteristics that are true of you now, at five years old, but will also be true of you however old you are when you read this. These are characteristics that God created in you. And He created me as your Mommy to first see them in you (to see how God wired you), to help you see them in yourself and to channel and direct them in the right direction. Our greatest strengths can easily become our biggest stumbling blocks if we do not harness them, if we do not use them for good-for God’s glory. I have seen this in my own life and in the lives of many others. My prayer is that you are confident in how God has made you and thankful for the gifts that He has given you. I pray also that you will be determined to not be controlled by your personality but to direct your strong abilities as you serve God, that you will learn how to have your emotions, your sensitivity, your compassion, your intuition, your creativity, your imagination and your leadership work for you (and for God) and not against you. That you will control them and not the other way around. This is so difficult, knowing and controlling yourself, especially when you are wired to be such a thinker and a feeler. But my sweet girl, God knows. He made you this way. He thinks it is beautiful. He has a plan and a purpose for you. Consult Him. Consult the maker and the author and the sustainer. And consult me and Daddy. We are your biggest fans and want to be your biggest allies and helpers on this winding journey. We love you. Every piece of you. Nothing could ever make us stop loving you.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
Happy 5th birthday to both of us-the anniversary of the day we met, the day you took your first breath, the day I became a Mommy. Ever since then I have felt as if I am in the groove, living the purpose god intended for me. And it is all tied up in you, in that day that our lives became intertwined. I love you more than I can say, my sweet girl. And I always, always will.