To Juliet on her sixth Birthday

Dear Juliet,

You are six. How is that possible? You are officially a kid, not a little kid, not a baby. Just a kid, running wild into the world. Every year writing you this letter gets more complicated, because your world gets more complicated. There is so much more that you are working out, that we are working out, that needs working out without the prying eyes of the internet.

As I read through the past letters I have for you I am delighted at how much you have grown, and how little you have changed. You are still so friendly, still so extroverted and encouraging. You still see every day you wake up as potentially the best day of your life. You tell me I am doing a great job, and cry when I will not let you go to sleep over at the house of a person we met twenty minutes before. Why not mom? She is my friend.

I struggle with the balance between protecting your bright ideas of the world, and protecting you from the dangers this world holds. I don’t want you to go through the world afraid, but I don’t want your youthful abandon to get taken advantage of. It is confusing for both of us sometimes.

You have grown longer this year. Your pants that fit in the waist show far too much of your ankle. The dresses that fit in your shoulders expose a lot of your leg. I let you run through the public splash pad in your underwear your last day of being five. You looked eight. How can I explain to the world just how young you are, how innocent, how full of joy? Your dad and I talk about wanting to raise you wild and free, and the older you get the more you are expected to comply. This growing up thing is not for the faint of heart.

But your heart is strong. You are big hearted and generous. You are bold and pure. You are good good good my love. You are a delight. Sometimes I catch you looking around to see if anyone is looking at the cute thing you did or noticing the smart thing you said. It is a blessing and curse to be so aware of the emotions around you. People notice. They do. But I hope that I can teach you the lesson I am learning. What is good and right and delightful is between you and your God. If you please yourself, and you please your God, it does not matter what the rest of us think.

You are so amazing.






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