To Juliet, On her Seventh Birthday

Dear Juliet,

Yesterday you turned seven. Seven. You did a lot of growing up this year. You have more grown up teeth in your mouth than little ones. Your pants are constantly too short. Your arms and legs seem to grow at a pace that is only matched by your appetite. You are always hungry. You are just so long.

Yesterday, after cupcakes at school and dinner at the play place with your cousins, and ice cream cake you picked out yourself at the Baskin Robbins, your cousin came home and told your Aunt Jill, “Juliet is a good sharerer.” You are. At seven years old you are exceptionally good at sharing, at including, at kindness. You spend most of your time at your Aunt’s house playing with your baby cousin because he needs someone to play with. You are quick to let people play with your new toys. I have lost track of the number of adults who have pulled me aside to tell me of the encouraging word you told them.

“You are doing a great job! You are beautiful! Your baby is so cute! I see you are a good mom!” I have heard all of these things come out of your mouth right to a stranger, and I have seen their faces light up as they look at me astounded. Please don’t grow out of giving strangers compliments. They desperately need to be told how good they are, we all do.

This year, you have decided that you are going to grow up and be president. You were a little worried about who would take care of your kids if you did that. I offered to move into the Whitehouse, your sister promised not to protest you as long as you didn’t do anything bad. You have been discussing with her, very seriously, the laws that you would employ. Mostly, you just think everyone should share, and everyone should be kind to each other, and no killing. That is it. That is what you want the world to look like.

The older you get the more I can see the ways the world is pressing up against you. You are just so innocent. You are just so joyful. You are just so willing to believe the best about everyone, everywhere, every time. I spend equal moments being in awe of this, and worrying about when this spark will be extinguished. This year though I am beginning to suspect the answer is never. You are more resilient than I give you credit for. I think this is just your gift to the world. I think you are just a gift to the world.

All my Love,

Mom

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4 thoughts on “To Juliet, On her Seventh Birthday

  1. Gram loves you Juliet. I remember how surprised your mom and dad were to have you in their lives to begin with and they are still happily surprised by all you are. God loves you. It is great fun to continue to see what God created in you.

  2. Abby,
    What a precious, precious letter to your daughter, the kind I always intended to write my now-teenage children, but somehow never “got around to.” You have given her a great treasure.
    I don’t even know you, but I just read about 7 of your most recent entries after my best friend posted your “Innocent Black Kids” post on FB….and my bet, is that YOU were exactly like your little Juliet at the age of 7! 🙂 I’m sure your Mom above could speak to that.
    (And as a funny aside, my 13yo daughter and I are sitting here binge-watching “Parks and Rec” as I write; you are blessed with your own little Leslie Knope!)

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