To My Christmas Baby: On Turning 10


To my Christmas Baby Turning 10

To my Christmas baby girl, who is turning 10, 

You arrived on Christmas Eve, and we swaddled you in a stocking. We sat mooning over your silver blond hair while The Christmas Story played quietly in the background on a 24 hour loop. The replays were eventually interrupted by hospital informational videos instructing us on how to feed you, be patient with you, and the terrifying warning not to shake you. We were new parents, and you were a brand new little person. An actual human, put in the care of two people who couldn’t keep plants alive. We had all wandered deeply into unknown territory.

10 years later you are now closer to adulthood than you are away from it. I see you, your toes tinkering over the teenage years, on the verge of the double digit milestone.

How can this be true?!

As we stand upon the precipice of the next decade and you embark on the epic adventure of existing between child and adult, I want you to know —I am so impressed with how well you are turning out, in spite of me.

I remember mothers a couple steps ahead of me, telling tales of how fast it would go. Honestly, our days felt long when others lamented their own child’s swift passing of years, and I didn’t believe them. I felt like an isolated, leaky milk factory surrounded by a sea of diapers and wipes. But now it’s real. Now I know, I know—they were right. I’ll just be in the corner joining their mourning song. The babe I once carried snug to my chest stands at my shoulder and we walk side by side.

So as you enter your tweens as an official 10 year old I want to make sure you know some things.

letter to daughter

These things will change:

Boys are going to seem more interesting while at the same time acting even more strange than they do now. Don’t worry about that too much yet, but give them some grace, they won’t always be completely hopeless. When they are, I will emphasize, giggle, and cry with you.

You will begin to believe I know absolutely nothing and seek answers from your friends;  they have lived only about as long as you. Someone who is six months older does not have the same wisdom as someone a quarter of a century older. You have parents for a reason, and we are always willing to talk.

Your body. I’m sorry, there is no way to avoid this: your hormones will change, the lining of certain body parts will begin to shed monthly, and things will just be awkward. I’ve been there. I’m here to help.

You will begin to leave the shield of childhood innocence. Don’t be afraid as the world rages around you, stand firm in who you have been made to be.

These things will continue:

I will have real life examples for why you should stop complaining about ridiculous things. ALWAYS. When you complain about having to go to school, I will tell you about the girls in other parts of the world risking their lives to get an education. When you say you are starving, I will pull up images of what that really looks like. When you tell me something is too hard, I will remind you of your favorite surfer, Bethany Hamilton, who persevered even after a shark took her arm. Remember, the strength in her is available to you as well, so I will constantly see your complaint and raise you some real life perspective-shifting scenario. You are welcome. Don’t forget you love me.

Our home will be a sanctuary, not of perfection, but of unconditional, unmerited love, peace, and acceptance.

I will continue to laugh with you, and at you. When I laugh at you, I am really laughing with you, because I love you and don’t mean any harm. Seriously, I mean it. I just can’t help myself. I give you permission to laugh at me too. I laugh at/with my mom. It’s a good thing. We will all keep each other entertained.

When you need a hug, my arms are open and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Christmas birthday

I have these hopes for you:

May you gain wisdom, grow in grace, and make peace.

May you bring light to dark places, and hold tight to hope when the dark is heavy.

May you persevere when tasks are daunting, and have the courage to accept challenges. 

May you be a force to be reckoned with as you are strengthened by love.

You are one of my greatest treasures in this world. Awaken, give, thrive, and enjoy because, my baby, it is short–but it is good. Make your mark, leave a legacy, bring passion to a world that needs it. Live vibrantly in this time and place. I love you from the depth of my being. Live well kiddo, live well.