Sappy letter, coming right up.
I soooo meant to post this Saturday, but Disney happened. I’m counting that as a good excuse. Don’t you worry, she got plenty of love on her big day. I really love it when the birthday party falls on the actual birthday. As it should be, right? Anna-Laura, this letter is for you!
I fear those that don’t know us well, think we must love the sea as much as we say your nickname, ALG (pronounced al-jee). We’ve been calling you that since the very beginning. You smirk every time we say it. I adore that.
This year, you hit double digits. What a milestone. Really. Where did that decade go?
You are a gift to this household. Ever since your youngest sister arrived on the scene, I never imagined how amazing you would be with her. You change diapers (yes, even those cloth ones), feed her, walk around with her when she’s fussy and dress her. Someday, I pray you will see what I see. A young girl who is shaping up to be a mighty fine caretaker. You have a lot of love in that heart, Anna-Laura. Never forget that.
I think God gives every mom a kid who challenges them. Encourages them to grow. Increases their faith. You are that kid for me. Please know it’s in all the best ways. The two of us? We’re like peas and carrots. You are strong-willed, passionate, a beautiful storyteller and full of life. I have zero idea where you get the athletic gene, but boy do you have it. We took the spring off from sports and other extracurriculars, so while I’ve missed watching you light up the soccer field, I sure have enjoyed seeing what makes you tick.
You may be loud and silly here at home, but at school you’re a bit on the quiet side. At least that’s what the teachers tell me! I was walking the halls yesterday and I came upon one of your Texas history projects. It was so beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written. It made me very, very proud to see that effort. Who knows in what ways those gifts will flourish. Won’t it be fun to find out?
Of all my children, I can count on you to tell it to me straight on the fashion. Thank goodness, because that is not my forte. We recently visited a friend who started her own fashion accessory business. You were in heaven. You’ve taught yourself to braid, draw art and sing songs – all because of YouTube.
Sometimes, when you get really tickled, you do this snort-laugh (please don’t hate me for sharing that) and double over laughing. It’s very cute.
I haven’t fully landed on your love language yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s a tie between words of affirmation and receiving gifts. If negotiation was a love language, you would win that one, too.
At Disney, we learned that you are not a daredevil and prefer to stay far, far away from roller coasters. At least the big ones. But, you conquered a huge fear and flew on an airplane. Well, we might be able to also thank Dramamine and ginger ale.
Like your mama, math is not your most favorite subject, but the effort you put forth is impressive. You definitely gravitate toward English and art. Oh, be still my heart. You adore your teacher and light up around your friends. Watching you among them always makes me smile.
Later this fall, we’ll take your ten-year-old trip together and I can hardly wait. I think you’ve narrowed it down to Chicago. When I told you there was shopping, that may have sealed the deal. Sorry for the delay, but you can blame it on your sister. She’s still nursing!
We did rock it out at your tenth birthday party. What fun it was to transform the house to Hogwarts again. You loved the details and helped with each and every one.
Anna-Laura, with each passing year I am more proud to be your mom. I’m proud that you’re a young woman who values modesty and kindness, love and faith. There is so much growing and doing during this next decade. We’ll have a blast.
Happy birthday, sweetheart. I love you!