On your birthday, of all days, I can’t help but think back to the morning when I found out your Dad and I were going to be parents. We were young and we were excited… and maybe a little scared(!). We didn’t know… couldn’t know… how much our lives were about to change. But today, my sweetie, (with not just you, but your two little sisters as well) it is unbelievably hard to imagine what life was like BEFORE you came along.
My sweet Layla… you have always been such a little gem. This is not the first time I’ve written about your qualities and bragged about you a little (or a lot). It’s hard not to brag. You’re a very special little lady; passionate and engaging; loving and sweet; bright and silly… soft and sensitive… and oh so girly!
Still – sometimes you drive me completely crazy! Oh Layla… you are strong willed (which, frustrating as it may be now, will be a great strength one day), you like to do things “your way” (which… oof… sometimes I need to remind myself… is a sign of your confidence), you know what you want and even more… what you don’t want (mmm… I think I often call that “picky”).
With starting school this past year, you’ve blossomed in many ways. You are appreciated by your classmates and teacher. You’re a real little sponge – learning so much and surprising us every day with what you remember, the quality of your drawings and writing skills… not to mention your growing desire to learn and understand more and more… and more!
You’re one of those kids who really likes adults (the attention, the company, trying to figure out the more mature conversations…) but sometimes, my dear, you get a little too “big” for you own good. We have to remind you that you are not your sisters’ mother… that you can’t always get everything that you want… and that you’re not quite big enough yet for certain things…
There are few things you like better than dressing up, eating dessert, doing a craft and… watching television! You discovered one of the “Flicka” movies a couple of months ago and now both you and Meaghan are on a horse and pony kick. Your birthday party at a pony ranch should be VERY exciting!!
Layla, you are so beautiful to me, to your Dad, and really… to anyone that gets to know you. And that beauty is so much more than what we see on the outside. It’s the sparkle in your eyes, the squeeze in your embrace, the excitement and love that you have for so many things.
As your mom, I feel like I’m often telling you “no” or correcting some bad behaviour… but Layla… not a day passes that I am not very proud of you. I love you more than I’ll ever be able to express… strengths and weaknesses… good times and bad.
I wonder sometimes what you’ll be like as you get older. I worry about all the nasty things in the world and how you’ll work your own way through them. I hope and pray that I will continue to grow and learn so that I can be the best mom possible for you. I want to teach you but not stifle you. I want to guide you but not decide for you. And I really hope to pass on the good that is in me (and not my weaknesses, insecurities or “issues”…sigh…). I want to let you go when I should, but still always be just a couple steps away to take your hand if/when you need it.
Happy 6th Birthday sweet Layla. Here’s to many many many more.
All my love,