i hope you're the kind of girl


Lana,

In just five days you'll be a whole year old. This first year of your life has been perfect. We've spent hours quietly sitting together, me watching the most peaceful contentment wash over your face as you fall asleep. You, me, and your dad have gone on walks, read books, and played with blocks, I know you won't remember, but our days have been filled with so much love. It's hard for me to find words for just how precious you are to us.

There are so many things I love about being your mother, but I think the one I enjoy most is watching you grow. Just in the past few weeks you've changed so much. Now you're pulling up and cruising around like it's no big deal. I love watching you figure out how to accomplish the things you want to do. Yesterday you were sitting in my lap reading when something caught your eye. It was on a shelf you hadn't been able to reach before, but this time you did. You walked along the couch until you were close enough to grab onto the shelf. You took a few uncertain stretches toward it, and then mustered the confidence to step out and grab your prize. It was so small and simple, but I was overwhelmed by your independence in that moment. Every day you grow and learn and a little more, and it's amazing.

I hope you're always the kind of girl who knows what you want and doesn't let fear get in the way. There are so many scary things in life, but you can't let that stop you. Take your fear and use it to catalyst you forward.

I hope you're always the kind of girl that loves and laughs so completely. Don't ever feel self-conscious about what makes you happy. Find your passion and pursue it boldly. It might seem cool or safe to be more reserved, but I can see so much life inside your little eyes and you can't hold that back.

I hope you're always the kind of girl that smiles at strangers (not the creepy ones though). You charm people from the instant you smile at them. We can be sitting at a restaurant or standing in a check-out line, and before we know it you're smiling and waving to the people beside us. Never stop doing that. Be warm and inviting to everyone.

I hope you're always the kind of girl who loves her family. Right now your dad and I are your safe place. You know us and how much we love you. Please never forget that. We probably have some bumpy teenage years ahead of us, but always know that you are our entire heart.

I hope you're always the kind of girl that is confident in your opinions. When you know what you want in life don't let anything stop you. So many things can distract you, but walk patiently and faithfully on your path. Your opinions, hopes, dreams, and ideas are so valuable. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Your heart is to tender and beautiful, and I hope you're always that kind of girl.

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