To Adleigh as You Turn 7

Dear Adleigh,

Happy Birthday lovey! You are SEVEN! It is hard to reconcile that my baby is beginning her journey to a big kid, teenager, and then womanhood.

You have already left part of your baby self–you lost your first tooth! It was on my birthday. You asked and asked for months when you would lose your first tooth and we all assumed it would not be before you turned seven. That night you strolled in holding your tooth in your hand, it wasn’t even loose the day before, I checked!! You still have your squeaky voice and still say “uppie uppie” for which I am so thankful. I will carry you whenever you need me.

You are a great sister! Each night as we read books and sing songs you give Liberty once of your great big Adleigh hugs and say “Night sister and best friend!” You two are great friends and play together so well. You have helped Liberty with gymnastics and she is teaching you some harp. You are a great support system for each other, I don’t know where you would be without each other. It is sometimes hard for you when Lou is play independently to decide what to do without her, you will say “I don’t like being alone” and you definitely do not. You are the most extroverted of all of us I think, a long way from the baby who glared at Krista at the bus stop and wailed for me at the bottom of the stairs when you had to stay with Rhonda or Dad for ten minutes. You and Liberty may follow different social paths as you get older but you have created a beautiful bond. May you always be sisters and best friends.

You love to learn! You work on your gymnastics, perfecting your body positions as you move through each skill. You were certainly interested in learning about the state of PA as we took our trip to Canada, I’ll never forget hearing “How big is Pennsylvania?” a million times! After blowing through your math assignments in the first couple weeks of flex they moved you to grade 3 math, it was supposed to be a challenge for your but you are a leader in that class as well. I love finding you in various reading forts you have created around the house and see you twisted up with the latest Bird and Squirrel or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I hear you share your love of flamingos with your classmates or offer interesting facts about whatever subject you are doing that time, much in the mold of your “twin-y” big brother. I wish you a lifetime love of learning.

While Canton may have a love of the stage you are blossoming into quite the impressionist. You have us roaring with laughter with your dad impression, your Canton impression, and the rolling eyes impression you have of me. You love sharing jokes and funny stories. It doesn’t hurt that you have the more adorable belly laugh around. May you always find reasons to laugh and share your stories with others.

You won the “contagious smiler” award in your first grade class. Your sweet spirit was so welcoming to everyone and you got so many other kids excited to learn. Just now, as I am writing this, you welcomed Tallon into your morning section and Ms Gaydos gushed over you. As you get older I hope you keep that contagious and welcoming spirit. Be a light for others. But, you will meet people who are not worthy of your time and kindness. If your heart tells you something isn’t right, listen to it. You are a bright shining light, do not let anyone dim it. Your smile and infectious belly laugh has helped us all be a little more present in the moment, you are a true gift. You may have helped us slow down at a hectic time but time keeps moving, so incredibly fast. I can hardly believe you are older now than Canton was when we moved here. May you continue to live in each moment and spread your smile.

Seven years ago you completed our family. It was such a stressful time with Dad starting a new job, selling our house, and trying to find a new home. I have hardly any pregnant photos of me with you because we were so busy. Luckily you burst onto the scene and forced us all to slow down a bit. I vividly remember those first few weeks with you. Often the newborn stage is such a blur of hormones and sleeplessness but you were the easiest baby by far, the baby we needed, and I have cherished every moment with you. So often we spend life wanting to move forward but end up spending the rest of it looking back. Thank you for slowing things down, I wish they would more. But I am so thankful for every moment and grateful I am lucky enough to be your mom. Each night you still tell me “you’re my favorite person in the entire world and universe!” and “stay with me forever”. I may not always be your favorite person but I will always be here to cheer your on, guide your path, and catch you when you fall. Love is giving your whole heart without expectation, and my sweet girl, oh how I love you so. I wish you a lifetime of the same wholehearted love you give so freely to others!

Happy Birthday Peanut! I’ll love your forever!



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