Half her life. That’s what she’s lived here in our house. Half. And all you moms of littles? It went way faster than my iPhone calendar says it should. Hang tough, y’all, easier (and harder) days are coming. To my sweet nine-year-old, this letter is for you.

Dear Sisty/ALG/Anna-Laura,

You have so many nicknames. Sisty is for your paternal great-grandmother. You were born on her birthday and Sisty was her nickname. Every time I hear it, I think of her, bossing people around in the kitchen. It’s good to know her spirit lives on in you. ALG (pronounced algae) are your initials and you should see the looks when we holler that one out on the soccer fields.

This last year, I’ve seen your independence really blossom. You have a fierce determination to do ALL THE THINGS all by yourself. And, I do mean all the things. We’ve designated you as the fruit chopper. You love wielding a knife and going all Bobby Flay on us. Your favorite fruit to cut up is strawberries. You’d probably cut everything in the kitchen, but for now we’re sticking to produce. You’re counting the days until your sister, Gianna, is big enough for cloth diapers so you can help change her. “When will she be big enough, Mom?” I should rent out that enthusiasm because Lord knows I’m never that excited to change diapers.

Once again, you tore it up on the soccer fields. You are crazy good. I still think we should send a note of apology to the goalie who you took out and made cry because the ball landed square in her face. I saw you wince and then secretly high-five yourself. Perhaps I should find comfort in knowing that your two older brothers have done their job in toughening you up. We’re trying to convince you to give lacrosse a try (hello college scholarships), but we may have to be content to be soccer parents, indefinitely.

School is…a social event. Math was a rough go this year, but after tutoring we saw a great improvement in your understanding. Tests make you super nervous and you get easily frustrated. It’s okay, girl, I do, too. But there was one moment about a week ago when you bounded into the car and yelled out, “I got a ONE-HUNDRED on my social studies test. A one-hundred Mom!” You recently received the “perseverance” award at school and I can’t think of a more fitting little girl to receive that honor than you. You might have to fight a little harder for those grades, sweetheart, just don’t ever give up. Deal?

You love to schedule playdates without asking me. I guess your philosophy is it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Just last week, the day before I delivered your sister, you invited someone over to play. Fortunately, that mom called and said, “You didn’t really authorize that, did you?” Oh, Anna-Laura. You are one funny bunny.

If I had to name one of my children who is most like me, you win. Hands down. That comes with its perks and {ahem} downsides, too. But, mostly, I love knowing that when the rest of the world wants to go one way, you will go the other. You are rooted in your beliefs. Steadfast in your decisions and no one has a chance of swaying you. That fierce independence and knowledge of self will benefit you for the rest of your life. Right now, it’s increasing my prayer life exponentially, but I know those prayers will bear great fruit. I’m counting on it.

You are addicted to rainbow loom. And you don’t even have a loom! You’ve somehow figured out how to make bracelets with your fingers. You also figured out how to braid your own hair, make fancy bookmarks and draw Elsa from Frozen – all by yourself. You have this creative, girly streak about you and a desire to teach yourself all sorts of skills and talents. It makes me so happy to know that someone else in the house appreciates creativity. When I’m planning an event, I can always count on you to be right by my side, helping every step along the way. Ah, a sweet party planner in the making, I hope.

You love to sing. Every song you’ve ever heard. We have encouraged you on many occasions to join the school choir, but you just get too embarrassed. For now, I guess we’ll just have to enjoy that sweet voice from the back of the minivan.

Anna-Laura, as you hit the pre-teen years and grow into a beautiful young woman, I pray that you always take the time to thank God for your blessings. That you never lose your independent spirit, your sweet, sweet giggle or your helpful demeanor. You have no idea how happy I was to hear the OB shout out, “it’s a girl” nine years ago. Oh, how I prayed for a girl. And He gave me you. I’m only lucky and blessed momma.

So, keep knocking out goalies, slicing strawberries, planning social events, fighting with your big brothers, changing diapers and reading your Bible. God has so many great things in store for you. Let’s get to it.

Love,

Mom

alg, kathryn, blog_015

3 Comments

  1. Nicole on May 16, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Aw – Happy birthday!

    Yes, I think it’s us moms that have to come up with those nicknames that embarrass when we shout them across the sports fields 🙂

  2. Lisa Briggs on May 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Happy Birthday Anna Laura

  3. Bea on May 16, 2014 at 10:50 am

    If she would like a free, seldom used rainbow loom with free ties (or whatever they are), it’s hers. Loved that she figured out how to use her fingers though! Happy birthday!

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