Audrey’s 8th Birthday Letter

Each year, I write my babies a birthday letter. They are just as much (more) for me than they are for them. And, each year, I’m surprised when it’s already time for another letter. I’m caught off guard. Every. Single. Time. The years are short, my friends.

This year, I approached my letter a little differently. It wasn’t planned. It’s just what came out when I sat to write. And so, here it is – my letter to my Audrey on her 8th birthday …

Sunshine. 

The car is warm. 

Light streams in. 

I watch you. 

Something on your Kindle has your attention and you watch. 

Serious. 

You feel my gaze and look up. 

Your adorable smile flashes. 

All toothless and perfect. 

My heart catches. 

Today is your birthday. 

Today you are 8. 

My littlest love. 

EIGHT. 

Sunshine. 

Some days it feels like we’re watching the world burn, but no. 

Not you. 

You make it possible to look away. 

So, we look away. 

We turn toward the sun. 

Look for the good and the light and the airy. 

You make that easy. 

You ARE the good. The light. The airy.

You ask to roll your window down. 

You always ask this and I say no. Too hot. 

And, today it’s a balmy 96 but it’s your birthday, so yes, roll your window down. 

Thick, miserable air pours in, but you smile. 

Sunshine. 

You close your eyes and lean your face close to the window. I watch. 

I do the same. 

I close my eyes and let the sun and heat warm my face and my soul. 

You.

Sunshine. 

At 8, that’s what you are. 

Sunshine. Joy. Energy. Excitement. Love.

It’s been a hard year, but I’m not sure you know. 

Your complete innocence has served you well. 

You were perfectly happy to cocoon with your family. 

All you ever wanted to do was stay home and play anyway, so you were good. 

You rolled with it. You rolled with Virtual School. Then you eagerly returned. 

Giddy to make friends and be with kids. School looked different. You rolled with it. 

Sunshine.

At 8, you are just happy

It’s a good stage. 

You are cheery. 

Your moods are easier. 

At 8, you are chatty. 

You come home ready to talk and tell me all the things.  

I make myself stop. 

Focus. Listen. 

This won’t last. 

You radiate. 

You are radiant. 

Sunshine.

At 8, you play.

You love your Barbies. 

You still play out whatever is happening in real life. 

It’s your quiet time. It’s your way. It’s how you process. 

And, American Girl. It’s an American Girl World.

Sunshine.

At 8, you are passionate. 

Fiery and full of life.

You are emotional. That is who you are. Never feel the need to turn that off. The world will tell you to be quieter. That your emotions are too much. But, baby girl, no. You were created to be exactly who you are. You are not too much. You are exactly who you are meant to be. So, feel your big feelings. And, cry your big cries. You never have to be quieter or less or smaller. You are a person with big feelings. That is part of you. 

You love big and hard. Deep and wide. 

I know your heart will break one day. 

Many days in many ways. 

But, that big love – that big love that will break your heart. 

It’s also your big light. Your big gift. Love BIG baby girl. 

Sunshine.

At 8, you look all Audrey to me.

Your curls are straighter. 

Your cheeks are thinner. 

Your legs are longer. 

Your freckles are so awesome. 

Your smile warms my heart.. 

Your giggle is contagious. 

Your hugs are hard. 

You kiss me smack on the mouth. 

The world is your oyster.

Sunshine.

Plus, a few clouds and a few storms.

At 8, you are stubborn. 

You like to be right. You don’t consider that you might not be. 

You’re up for a fight. You just don’t want anyone to fight back. 

Sunshine.

At 8, you are my sunshine. 

You warm my heart.

You light my life.

I love you.

Now and forever and always.

Happy Birthday my girl.

P.S. How cute is Audrey’s birthday shirt?! It’s from Bows and Bubbles (local to Holly Springs, NC) and she is fantastic and the sweetest! Every year we are so excited to see what she comes up with!

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