To the Birthday Girls

My girls turn 4 today.

I feel like I just wrote a novel with that simple statement.  It’s sort of overwhelming.

In fact, it’s so overwhelming that I’m just now coming back to writing this many days later.

This year I have no words.  So instead I’ll just write you each little love letters.

Dear Aeralind,


Sweet girl of mine, what you do or make does not have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Monday you nearly cried when you saw your sisters “m” written on the whiteboard. She has better fine motor skills that you do and you couldn’t stand thinking about how yours had barely resembled an “m”.  Ballet camp nearly killed you with your teachers constant adjustments of your arms and legs. And today you pouted for 15 minutes because I caught you sucking your thumb for the first time in 5 days (apparently your Malva Stop wore off).

This may be the hardest lesson you will ever learn: nothing you do or say has to be perfect to be beautiful.  In fact, there’s ample beauty in the imperfection.  Do you hear me?  There is beauty in your broken and imperfect attempts, beauty that no one but you is ever capable of creating. Be gentle with yourself and don’t compare who you are and what you are capable of with that never possible standard of perfection (or even the very different person beside you). I pray you’ll learn this early and I will say it to you each day until it sinks in.

Aeralind, I love when you sit right next to me and just talk.  Your logic is hysterical and your commentary is well thought out.  You’re quiet most of the time, but in those rare one-to-one moments, you just blossom.

I’m proud to be your mama.  Keep growing and learning and exploring.  Keep trying new things.  And most of all keep being imperfect beautiful you.




Dear Bronwyn,


Bronnie- girl, you’ve softened this last year.  You’re still as strong willed as ever, but you’re beginning to learn how to follow.  Today I was trying to teach you to write the letter S.  I showed you a couple of times and had you trace and then I asked to help guide one with your hand.  You wouldn’t have it.  You tried on your own and then said “Now help me.”  That first squiggle needed some work, and after a few drawn under a guiding hand, you were able to draw some of your own.

You’re becoming someone capable of thinking about the consequences of your actions.  You don’t always think that way, but asking me to help after that first failed squiggle is just one of the new ways you’re able to use this skill.  I can watch you thinking through the possible outcomes.  I’m so proud of your growth.

You’re still using that strong will to your advantage though.  I can watch you make a decision in a second and stick to it.  The day the Malva Stop arrived you told me to apply and that you were done sucking your thumb.  So I did.  After your rest time, you came back upstairs and said “It won’t come off.”  I haven’t seen you suck your thumb since. You were ready and you made that decision.  It’s amazing to watch.

Lately you’ve been a regular chatterbox. You talk about anything, but your favorite subject of choice is anything regarding why.  It’s not just “Why should I do this?”  In fact, it’s more often like “Why is it that way? Help me figure it out.” Your curiosity is sometimes overwhelming, but it’s always welcome.  You love to learn and I adore watching your eyes light up as things begin to click.

If I could say one thing to encourage you, sweet girl, it would be to keep leading others gently.  Think about how they feel, ask their opinions, and create play (or anything else) that draws them in. You have a gift in that strong will of yours and I pray you’ll learn to use it.