I've been saying "my daughter" a lot lately. It's strange this phrase, this little phrase of only two words, two words so rich with meaning, so deep and wide and rich and full and so tiny that the impossibility of capturing what I mean, what I feel, seems great. My daughter. My little one. My light bearer.
My daughter, you are one! You have lived your life on this planet with eyes wide open for three hundred and sixty-five days. One day you'll understand the significance of that. One day you will recognize that each trip around the sun is amazing, a miracle, significant. Can you believe that?? You traveled all the way around the sun! Your entire life so far has led up to this moment -- the completion of a cosmic circle. You've seen the sun, felt the sun from every angle possible.
And now you begin again.
October 7th launches a new race across more miles than you or I can comprehend, at speeds that are impossible to describe, in a space at which we can only wonder in awe. Soon you will be two. Well, not soon, but somehow still soon. Let's not think about that quite yet!
What do I say to you, my daughter? You grow a little bit every day. These mother eyes can see it. You understand a little more every day, every second. You make significant discoveries with each tick of the clock, always curious, adventurous, exploring the world. What are you discovering right now, I wonder.
I love your heart. I love how you light up when you see your Daddy, how you reach for him with all your inches, how you snuggle his face with a cheek hug special to you both. I love how you laugh with your whole body, your head thrown so far back, and how you cry when someone else gets hurt. I love that yesterday you let a child take one of your toys, but you held on so tight to the other. I love that you tell stories and you sing songs and you constantly ask for more music, more music, more music! You are a delight. A pure delight.
I always expected to have a daughter at some point. Granted, "some point" was much further in the future than now, but oh, how I have been blessedly surprised by you. I admit I resisted my world changing, but you have been a beautiful change and now my world would be less bright without you. And while I always expected to have a daughter, I didn't expect it to be so exquisitely wonderful. Wonderful, yes, but this wonderful?? How could I have known?
There are things you don't understand until you're a mother. The inexplicable joys and sorrows, frustrations and victories, hopes and fears. I'll let you discover them.
I am so proud that you are my daughter. Maybe to a fault! I am in awe of your beauty, your brilliance, your capacity for learning, your independence, your talents. Some times I look at you and I can see you in sixteen years, in twenty-five, in thirty-two. Some times you're a ballerina, a neurosurgeon, a teacher, a mother, a friend. I have a feeling my dreams for you will pale in comparison to the dreams you'll have for yourself.
My daughter, I love you. I love me with you. I love who I am becoming as your mother, the relationship you and I are forging. I love your tiny toes and your giggly, cheesy smiles and your slender fingers and your heart shaped ear and your soft hair just long enough for a short pony tail. You have so much beauty within you. I love seeing it spill out.
My birthday hopes for you are simple. I hope that you will grow in grace, that your joy will only deepen, that your discoveries would bring you delight, that you would be surrounded and filled with love, and that you would be drawn to Jesus and know Him early. I pray that as you take more trips around the sun, that you would know the Son goes with you wherever you go (yes, I made a cheesy homophone reference. You'll just have to deal with it!).
Happy Birthday, my little love. You are a joy to behold!