Dear Kate, On Your 8th Birthday

Dear Kate,

Eight years ago, three days past your due date, you made me a Mama.  Since your arrival, there has been neither a quiet nor dull moment!  Your joy and enthusiasm for life is contagious; your smile and energy exceptional.  You are equal parts cautious and adventurous, girly and tomboyish, a planner and spontaneous.  You are creative and have a flair for the dramatic, a natural entertainer who loves the spotlight.

You are a total extrovert with a magnetism that draws people and a special gift for making friends everywhere you go.  You have a tender heart and genuinely love people.  You remind me so much of my grandfather, BB, who is now in Heaven; one day, you two will have a grand time together, kindred spirits talking and laughing.  Your sense of humor regularly makes others laugh – and your quick wit and sarcasm regularly gets you in trouble, if we don’t laugh first.  I have countless notes on my phone titled “Kate funnies” – hilarious quips you’ve made over the years.

You talked early and were making sentences by about 16 months… and you haven’t stopped since.  I sometimes joke that you wake up talking and go to bed talking.  You are incredibly curious and love to ask questions about everything – so much so that your dad and I sometimes have to establish “no question zones” for a short time, haha.  You simply want to know how how the world works, why things happen, what everyone around you is feeling and thinking, what’s happening next… all.the.things, all.the.time.

You are a strong-willed natural leader who loves to plan, organize, and direct.  Sometimes, as a parent, this is challenging, but my sincere prayer is that the Lord will use your gifts to lead people for His glory one day – and I know He will.  A few weeks ago, you told me you want to be “someone who manages inventors – like, tells them what to make and how to do it” when you grow up.  I think that job would be just perfect for you… alongside your other plans to be an artist, teacher, and veterinarian.

You are a confident artist, and I love watching you grow in your ability to create with both figures and words.  You are super creative and have a great eye for perspective and color.  I admire the ways you are thoughtful with your art, regularly leaving your Dad and me little surprises you created on our bedside tables, or making special pictures and cards for your friends and family.

Since you were born, you have never really liked sitting still, and you continue to love to move.  Whether dancing, turning cartwheels, acting out a skit you made up in our living room or on stage, playing kickball or soccer, or climbing trees, movement is your most natural mode of expression.  You run freely through life, always looking for the next adventure with unrivaled excitement for the smallest to the biggest events.

Some of your favorite things to play with at this age are Legos, American Girl dolls, Calico Critters, Barbies, and most recently (thanks to your dad), Mario on the Nintendo.  You are a great reader (and enjoy it when you decide – or are forced – to sit still for long enough), and some of your favorites this past year have been the A to Z Mysteries and Clementine series, Nancy Clancy mysteries, Arthur, and Berenstain Bears.  You also love to write and have really enjoyed keeping a journal since your dad gave you an old notebook from his work several months ago – later upgraded to a unicorn journal Santa brought.

You love the Lord and His Word, and I love to watch your faith grow.  We have read through The Jesus Storybook Bible and Big Picture Bible several times, and you now enjoy reading in your “real” purple Bible by yourself.  You love going to church and small group, often pray for others, and understand that Jesus has called us to shine His light wherever we go.  You ask deep questions and have such a pure faith, and I regularly pray that the Lord would continue to grow in you a hunger and thirst for His Word and to know Him and serve Him more and more.

You’re a good big sister and, despite the fact that you find your little sis “annoying” more often than not, you make time each day to play with her.  She adores you and copies pretty much everything you do.  Like I always tell you (and pray for you both), one day she’ll be your oldest best friend.

Kate Julianne, there is only one bold, beautiful, brilliant you, and I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude that you are ours!  You are our sunshine, today and every day.  Happy happy birthday, and I hope that one day, this snapshot of how I see you at age eight brings a smile to both your face and heart.

All My Love and Eskimo Kisses,

Mama

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