Well here we are. You are officially a pre-teen. Two whole hands old. An entire decade of life is behind you. I’ll be honest, Mahkena. You turning ten is so hard for me. While you want to be double digits and get more into your big girl status, my heart sinks just a bit. Ten years ago, you made your way into this world and it feels like it was just yesterday You are my girl. You turned my life upside down and side-ways from the moment you were placed in my arms and being your mom is one of the greatest joys I will have in my life.
My favorite thing about you my sweet girl, is that you are your OWN person. With your OWN thoughts and dreams. I love just listening to you, learning every little thing about you. To see the WHO that you are becoming.
I can’t be more proud of the young woman you are becoming. You think deeply, love hard, but still cuddle your favorite stuffed bunny without any embarrassment.
So on this 10th birthday, I have ten things I want you to remember; from my heart to yours.
Don’t change the person that you are because you think people will like you better. Trust me, there are a whole bunch of people who think you’re AMAZING just the way you are.
Don’t sit down. Don’t give up. Sometimes things are hard. School is hard. Friendships are hard. But remember, you’re strong and we will always be here for you. I want you to ask for help if life feels like it’s too much. You never need to do it alone.
You are capable of so much. Those big dreams that you have? Follow them. And don’t be afraid to try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be so scary, but yet so rewarding.
Love your siblings. Even when they annoy the crap out of you. Growing up with siblings is one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever have; you’ll slowly learn this as you find out they will always be there for you and have your back.
Forgive yourself. Again and again, over and over. You’ll make poor choices, say dumb things, and get lots of answers wrong. Everyone makes mistakes and there wouldn’t be any learning or growing without them.
Find friends who make you a better person. True friends will be kind to you, they will love you, and will never make you feel less than a whole person. If a ‘friend’ doesn’t do these things, let them go.
Have fun. Life is too short to be so serious all the time. Laugh, be creative, get messy. Try to find the fun in everything that you do; I promise it will make life that much more enjoyable.
Love yourself. Appreciate what makes you, you. Enjoy the characteristics that make up who you are.
Help others. Help in any way that you can, even when you know they can’t help you back.
We love you. That love is unconditional and it always will be. I want you to know that we love you no matter what, and we always will. There is nothing you could ever do or say that will change that. We love you and we will always be here to help guide you.
There is a fire inside you that burns so bright and I promise, as your Mommy, to make sure that never goes out. Happy 10th birthday, Mahkena Lillie. I love you, to the moon and back.