Dear Rory,

Just writing the introduction came with painful, but happy, prickling tears to my eyes. I cannot believe another year has gone by and that you are now 6. I don’t know why 6 seems so much bigger but it just does. You now have to use two hands to show your age instead of just one chubby toddler hand. It is just so overwhelming to your mom to know that you are already 1/3rd of the way done being in my home if you leave for college at 18. The thought is just too much to bear!Rory6Bday4

I honestly don’t even know where to begin this year with your letter because I just have so many things to say, but all seem so inadequate to describe how my love has grown even more for you this year, just like every year and every day that I have had with you.

One of my very favorite things about you is how confident you are. You have such a sense of style and confidence that is far beyond your years. This is what I pray the most never leaves you. I want you to always strut like you are on a runway no matter where you are like you do now. I am always fascinated by your confidence, because it something I have never had as much of and I am eternally grateful that is one of the things you didn’t get from me. Having a confidence like yours is such a beautiful thing and I will continue to pray that you never lose that.Rory6Bday1

You are still so insanely obsessed with fashion and dresses and tutus and I absolutely love that it hasn’t left you yet. In fact, our biggest and fiercest means of punishment for you at this age is to make you wear jeans to school. It is sheer torture for you. Your dad and I have laughed and laughed over this because it is just so typical “Rory” to have a punishment as easy as just making you wear jeans to get you to straighten up and try harder. All these years we have tried so many things and all we had to do is whip out some denim. WHO KNEW?!

You used to have a very shabby/homeless chic to your dress but the older you get the more it all just comes together into a perfectly mismatched ensemble. You still tell me that you want to be a “fashion engineer” when you grow up and I think that title suites you perfectly. Your daddy and I watch you all the time and say we can see you living in NYC one day having your clothing line on all the runways and in all the stores.

The thing you got from your dad the very most, as I’ve said a thousand times before, is your amazingly sharp mind. I watch you in wonder all the time at how your brain works and how I can physically see you thinking each and every step out. You can tell me how anything works within minutes of studying it and you absolutely love to take things apart and put them back together. The other day you actually said to me, “Mom, my new favorite word is equalization.” I mean, how do you even know what that word is? The scariest part is you went on to explain what it meant. Clearly it was already over my head. Your mama writes the words and makes things pretty- you were born to change the world with your ability to figure things out so quickly. It is truly astounding to someone with a totally different brain.

You are obviously still hilarious and make us laugh every single day, but you aren’t the typical type of funny girl. Your sense of humor can sometimes be dry and unexpected. You come up with little quips that make us howl with laughter but you’ll just walk off like no big deal. Seeing this side of you develop has been so fun to me. You aren’t the class clown, like your little sister so clearly is, but you are still genuinely hysterical all the time. I think that also has a lot to do with your confidence- you are quietly confident in your ability to make others laugh. Another thing you got from your daddy.Rory6Bday3

There is nothing you do better than being a sister to Ryder. You are so encouraging to her when she needs it the most and your confidence makes her more confident. I can tell you that seeing you love on her and protect her and make her feel like she is the best thing in the world is probably the best thing a mom could ever witness. Sure, y’all fight and bicker too, but 99% of the time it just like having a life long slumber party with your best friend. Let me tell you something Rory, your sister loves you more than you could ever imagine. Ryder loves you so fiercely sometimes it is hard for her to be without you. I can’t wait to see you back at the same school together next year because I know that will help Ryder be so much more confident knowing you are just down the hall.

Lately I have noticed a very sensitive side come out of you. You are profoundly affected by words and I have had to do a lot of holding back and showing grace towards you this year because of it. This is a lesson I am so thankful you have taught me. When you hear a word of encouragement your face physically lights up and you become a kid who cannot be stopped. I pray that I never quench that, but when I do that I am quick to apologize for using a sharp tongue. I want you to know that it is okay to be sensitive, goodness knows your mama is, but to make sure that you don’t let the wrong people steal your joy. It is such a hard line to have to teeter on and I’ve fallen off so many times. I will always do my very best to be the person you know you can run to when you need encouragement. And I sure know that you are my person because you are such a wonderful encourager to me.

This year you have learned so much in Kindergarten and you are thriving, baby. It is absolutely incredible to see you reading with confidence and writing. Watching you learn these things has been one of my favorite things I have ever done as a parent. Seeing your nose in a book, reading to yourself at night in bed has been amazing.

Speaking of bed…. you aren’t hating sleep these days. That is all I will say. Probably already said too much and jinxed it.

You are so astonishingly beautiful to me, Rory. From your perfect brown eyes that have taken in the entire world since the first moment you took a breath, to your sweet button nose and your perfect lips…. I just cannot ever get over how beautiful you are. How absolutely perfect you are. You got the very best features from me and your father and it made the most gorgeous little girl in all the world. Watching your eyes light up with wonder or laughter is sometimes too much for me to even see without crying from joy. I think my favorite thing about you, though, is your right eyebrow. There is so much expression in that one brow and it gives me the giggles every day because you sure do know how to work it. Rory6Bday2

The best part about this year is seeing your knowledge for Christ grow. Your dad and I have had long, deep talks with you about salvation and heaven and even hell. We can see your brain working and trying to take it all in. I love that you think about it in such a calculated way and take it very seriously. You ask HARD questions and sometimes I have a hard time answering things because I don’t want it to be too much too soon and scare you in either direction. God is moving in your heart right before our eyes and it is by far the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.

You are a lover of things that are beautiful, you are sensitive and are moved to tears by things like cards or sunsets or kind words. You are a thinker and a problem solver.

You are absolutely just the best 6 year old in the entire world.Rory6Bday5

There is no one on this earth that loves you more than your Momma, Rory. I promise to always fight for you, always pray for you and with you about anything, always try to have the right answers or guide you toward them, and to always let you know when I am wrong and ask for forgiveness. I cannot promise to be the perfect mother, but I will promise to encourage you and to love you for the rest of time.

Love you to Heaven and back my sweet Rory,

Momma

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