it finally happened. my oldest daughter turned a double-digit number today. this morning we are headed out of town, so i got her up early and took her outside on our front porch swing and gave her my letter to read. she then was given a special james avery charm bracelet with a few charms to start her collection. a decade ago feels like yesterday. happy birthday my sweet cami :)
10 things I want you to know now that you are 10!
1. You are beautiful. Never doubt your beauty. You are lovely both inside and out. I have noticed that your features are becoming more and more grown up as each year passes and with that your heart grows bigger and bigger too. You are kind, compassionate, and thoughtful. You have beautiful brown hair, the prettiest hazel green eyes, and the sweetest smile that makes anyone smile too. You are a complete package and never forget it.
2. You are smart. You have always tried your best in school and it has always paid off for you. Never dumb down your intelligence. A love for learning is very important in life. It will help you in school, in college, and in your career. I have heard you recently try to deny this truth in hopes of being like everyone else, but the fact that you are already a grade ahead proves that you are motivated to do well in school. This is nothing to be ashamed about. It is who you are and be encouraged to keep doing your best.
3. You are unique. God set you apart to be the special individual that you are. Never try to be someone else. Always remain true to yourself because you can never look natural trying to be someone you aren’t. You will never fool anyone so don’t even try. I can’t imagine why you would want to impersonate someone else anyway. You are an awesome individual and there are girls out there that probably wish they could be more like you. Set the example and be free to be yourself.
4. Never stop reading. Your love for reading makes me so proud. I love the fact that you enjoy getting lost in a story… time and time again. It not only builds your vocabulary and comprehension skills, but it expands your imagination and creativity. This is something of a treasure that you will enjoy for a lifetime. I look forward to sharing favorite books and reading different novels together over the many years to come.
5. Relationships can be tricky. As you have already learned, friendships can evolve and change over time. This happens because people are changing and evolving too. For the most part, you will have many people come in and out of your life, especially right now. Sometimes you might form strong bonds with some and others might be just simple acquaintances, so don’t focus on trying to make everyone happy all the time. Unfortunately, at some point, you will fail and it can be frustrating and hurtful. However, I do understand the importance of close healthy friendships in your life. You are a great friend and I hope others appreciate your gift of friendship.
6. God is your source. As you take on more responsibility, you will learn that God is your everything. Look to him for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to talk to Him through prayer. He is your provider, your comfort, and your joy. As your parents, we love to help you and take care of you, but the older you get the more decisions you begin to make. We won’t always be there to walk you through obstacles that might come your way. The Holy Spirit leads you and guides you to do the right thing that will ultimately give you peace. Start looking more and more to God for your answers and your relationship with Him will begin to grow and strengthen.
7. Play. Once you stop, it’s very hard to enjoy it again. As I mentioned before, using your imagination is wonderful. Enjoy life and cherish the little things forever. Remain light-hearted and fun. Whether you are playing with your American Girl Dolls, dressing up your Barbies, creating music on the piano, or competing in volleyball, never be ashamed to follow your passions.
8. Emotions can be controlled. Sometimes our emotions try to take over, but we can learn to not let them rule over our lives. Speaking God’s Word over your life can help combat the emotional rollercoaster that tries to steal your joy or make you afraid. It’s okay to feel emotional from time to time because we all do. That is normal. Just know that God wants you to live a life free from emotional stress.
9. I’m your biggest fan. Even though we are a lot alike, I realize that we won’t always see eye to eye and that is okay. It is perfectly normal to have your own opinions. The only thing I ask of you is to be honest with me and never be afraid to ask or tell me things. I’m here to help you, to love you, and to cheer you on. I know you hear this a lot from me, but I’m for you! That will never change. You can’t earn my love, Cami. You got it the moment you grew inside me. I may not always like your decisions, but I will never stop loving you…never!
10. You are loved. As I was trying to express to you above, I love you with all my heart. Your father has been in love with you since he first laid eyes on you. You are admired and looked up to by your little sister. Your whole family deeply loves you and your friends cherish you to pieces. But nobody can ever love you as much as God does. His unending love for you is something you never have to doubt.