Today my biggest little lady turns 9. NINE. Like, one finger shy of two whole hands. As she bounded down the stairs this morning with her long bronzed legs and wide smile, I saw what I see every morning -- the identical distinctions that exploded my heart in to a million pieces nearly a decade ago -- dark hair, a tanned complexion and chocolate eyes (proof that she IS, in fact, mine). These are the visible traits that complete strangers tend to stop and comment on, but it is her laid-back, responsible, witty personality and tender heart that will win over anyone lucky enough to spend more than a minute with our adored daughter. A joyful and gentle soul, sweet Addi, is my outgoing introvert, full of sunshine and spirit. Her days are spent in one of three ways: being CREATIVE (imagining, coloring, drawing, playing, and creating), being CONTENT (reading, watching TV, playing solitaire, or writing), or being COMPETITIVE (Playing softball, volleyball, basketball, tumbling or soccer. The sport doesn't so much matter -- it's the TEAM that she loves.).
Addison Starr, we are proud of the girl you've been and the little lady you're becoming. You are a beautiful little soul. From you I have learned patience, I have experienced family, and I have evolved. I am a better person for having you here with me. Have the happiest of birthdays, Baby Girl! We wish you a million days that reflect the possibilities you see, and know, above all, that you are loved with an almost absurd measure!
All my love -- to Disneyland and back,
Mom (formerly: Mommy)
And now...9 wishes for my now 9-year-old:
1. May you always continue to carry that same light of joy in your eyes.
2. May you always know the power of independence -- the sweetness of choosing your own path -- whether it be singing or softball, art or teaching, basketball or reading.
3. May you always choose integrity over the ways of the world.
4. I pray that you forever keep the tender heart you have today.
5. May you realize that family comes first and that our people will always have your back. Whether you succeed, fall, or fail, you are loved.
6. I wish for you to pick your friends wisely. Friends are the family you choose. Choose wisely. Choose friends who value good decisions, the art of communication, and solid fashion-sense. :) Surround yourself with followers of Jesus, people who will hold you accountable and hold you up when you're weary. May your friendships be true and filled with the light of Christ.
7. I pray that you learn that you can do anything, but shouldn't always do everything. We all have our limits. Superwoman doesn't exist, no matter what TV, movies, blogs, or social media will try to tell you. Trust your mama on this one, Sweetheart. It's a hard lesson to learn.
8. May you learn that quiet and solitude are necessary for growth. Being in a crowd is wonderful but learning to love your own company is imperative. Take time for just God and grow in His presence.
9. May you never, ever lose the feeling of magic and wonder. I pray that you are able to keep a child-like perspective on life, love, and opportunities. Don't take yourself too seriously, my darling. Run and play in the rain. Stop and look at a rainbow. Try to catch fireflies. Laugh. Find beauty in the simple things. Guard your heart, but leave it open to opportunities of true joy -- the simple things.
I have a million wishes for you, my dear daughter, but above them all, I pray that you love God with all your heart and that you would live your live according to the plan He has for you.