Today is your 7th birthday.
For each and every day of your existence, I have been amazed by your depth of character, your sense of right-and-wrong, your academic excellence and your emotional development. You truly are everything I asked God for when I was pregnant. And I'm not just saying that for dramatic effect- I have a handwritten journal entry dated from before you were born asking God for very specific things in regards to your personality and temperament. You are exactly what I wrote on that page so many years ago - even down to a few physical aspects. Yes, I prayed that you'd have hair like this (if you're mad at me for that, so be it.):
You are easy to please and take great joy in making those that you love happy. When I think something you say or do is funny, I love that you continue down that same path over and over again just to hear the sound of my laughter. This $0.75 fake mustache provided some of my favorite moments on the night of your birthday party:
You are a precious gift to any parent. But I'm not sure I always act like I believe that. Because you've always been such a wonderful child, I think I expect too much of you and therefore I can be too hard on you. At times, I'm short-tempered and easily irritated. In your eyes and on your face I see that my words and tone of voice don't always build you up. It is my fervent prayer and deepest desire that I am always careful to steward this responsibility of motherhood by encouraging you, guiding you and loving you the way you need it.
This year, I think this letter is more about me than it is you. I have big expectations of what our relationship can grow into and it's up to me to make sure I do everything I can to develop that. I hope that someday when you look back at these letters and you read this one, you'll say, "Mom, I don't remember you acting like that at all. That's not who I've known you to be."
I love you very much. You make me a better person.
And because the last part of this was so heavy, I'll leave you with this crazy picture of you having a blast at your party: