In Between: A Letter to my Daughter on her 11th Birthday

lydswing

Dear Lydia,

I don’t know how my youngest is now in the thick of being a preteen. In my mind and in the minds of so many around us, you should still be “Baby Lydia”, the baby of our little world and community, loved and doted on and adored by all the big brothers and sisters who have taken you into their hearts along the way.

I love your confidence. You can most of the time not just because of your talent or ability, but because of your confidence. I’ve been amazed to see all that you can do. You are teaching me how confidence influences success.

And what about when you don’t succeed? You are okay. If your project flops or when you discover you can’t dance, you laugh it off. You enter many more contests than you win. You are a brave girl who gives your all whether you win or lose.

You are a preteen, and I’ve seen that be tough. Your brother and sister are ahead of you in teen land, but you’re not there yet. Being the baby of the family, you and I both want to hold onto your little girl world as much as we want you to catch your brother and sister. But you’re stuck in the middle.

In between women and girl clothes.
In between kids meals and adult entrees.
In between cuddling stuffed animals and wanting a phone.
In between a little girl and a woman.

While you are struggling in between, I see the changes. I see how your face still lights up, but I am not the one making it do so nearly as often. I see the way you feel when I don’t understand you, or when you are annoyed.

I think of what our relationship will go through over the next few years and I pray for the strength to be the mom you need. I pray that we can always talk, and that God will help me to understand you so that I can love you well through the hard seasons of growing up.

I pray that you will keep being you. You express yourself all over the place without holding back. You always seem to go for it—enter the contest, wear the thing, sing the song. Some people lose that in middle school, but I pray you won’t because I see that the world is a better place when you go for it.

I pray that you’ll always sing the song God gives you with the joy and confidence that you started at age 3. That the harsh world won’t take that gift away from you or from any of us.  That you’ll continue to be the friend that others need, whose heart is broken for others around you and will refuse to leave them out.

Happy birthday Lyd. I love you.

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