Well, my beautiful little love, it is your 7th birthday today. Every birthday you or your sister have makes Mommy a little emotional. Each one for different reasons. The first one was because you weren’t technically an infant, the second one because you were officially a toddler, the third one because you were in between a toddler an a little girl, and on and on it goes. This year…well it is your golden birthday, the day you were born and the age you are at. I can remember so vividly the day you made your entrance into this world, and it is lost on me how that was 2555 days ago! You came into this world a wise soul, independent, fierce and you were your own person from day one. It was like you knew who you were before you were born. You are not afraid to ask for what you want or need. You are strong-willed…stubborn even but that will serve you when you grow up. Each year I think, I wish I could just capture her at this age and keep her here. I would love to go back in time and kiss the top of your soft wispy hair as a newborn, I would love to watch you once more at one mastering walking and saying mommy, I would relish in talking to your two year old version and hearing the sweet voice still full of babyish innocence, I would relive and revisit each one of your years of life.
The thing is, my tiny Brynlee Jean, with every passing day you blossom, you grow, you emerge a different little being and it is both bewildering, and bittersweet. This year, I have noticed so much change in you. Not only your appearance which morphed from baby cute to stunningly beautiful. You carry yourself with such confidence and you are just sure of who you are. I envy that you don’t need or ask for anyone’s acceptance of you, you are a take me or leave me type of girl, not willing to conform just to impress someone. That makes me proud as I know when you get a bit older you will be sound, and rock solid on your beliefs and won’t be swayed by others that may try to influence you. I see in you a fierce leader, not because you are bossy, but because you are diplomatic. You may be no nonsense, all business most of the time but you are fair, empathetic, loyal and you will be the first to stick up for someone you feel is being wronged or hurt. You are this wisp of a thing with a personality that is bigger than life.
I watch you with your sister, and it is my absolute favorite thing in the world. You two fight, you squabble, you bicker, and you even get sick of each other. But, the bond you share is magical to behold. Although, you are the little sister you aren’t afraid to play the caregiver role. From the age of two you were talking for Braelyn, telling others what she needed, like you had your own shared language. Your sister is much different than you which is what makes you both special. She likes to be cared for, taken care of, and being assured that she is still your best friend at the end of the day. You aren’t one to be lovey dovey….you get that honest except when it comes to you girls and your cousins. You would rather eat dirt than tell Braelyn that you love her, or goodness forbid give her a hug. But you are a person that shows their love through actions. You will go and find your sister her favorite toy, ask her to join in with you playing a game that you don’t like just because she does. You will defend her even against me and that makes my heart grow knowing that whatever comes her way she will have you by her side just like I have your Aunt Boo. You promise Mommy, that you will never stop watching out for her, ok? She will need you through this life and trust me you will need her.
A few months ago, I witnessed a new side of you that just brings tears to my eyes every time I recall it. We were at Chuck E Cheese, which we don’t visit often because it is chaos, and it gets expensive pretty quick. But on a whim I decided to let you girls decide what it was you wanted to do, and that is what you chose. I put 15 dollars on each of your cards so you could play the games. Your sister paused to take a minute to take a picture with me. You, however couldn’t be bothered with stopping for a picture (you get that from your dad), so you ran along to play a racing game. I went back to my booth and watched you for a bit. A while later you both returned to eat some pizza but before going back out to play you realized that you had laid your card down somewhere that had all your remaining tokens on it. Braelyn quickly came to assist finding it, and after we all searched alas it was gone. Someone had picked it up. I had told you when we arrived to keep up with it because I wasn’t going to buy another one. You weren’t going to ask me too either because even at six you knew it cost money but that didn’t stop the big tears from welling in your eyes. Without a single thought or prompting your sister reached into her pocket and got her card out and handed it to you. You just stood there, the tears you had been holding back fell silently to your cheeks and Braelyn said, “You can have my dollars, Sissy!” I watched as you felt the love of a sister, the sacrifice she would give to spare you pain, the fact that she was selfless enough to give you her card although we don’t visit this place often..and it surprised all of us when you (the one who never hugs your sister) without thought jumped and grabbed her in a sincere hug openingly crying in gratitude for her small but very big gesture. You embraced her for at least two minutes and Braelyn picked you up and held you until you had finished the moment. I sat there with a lump in my throat and tears streaking down my face. That was the most innocent, heartfelt, sincere and genuine moment I have witnessed. You took her hand and I am pretty sure she would have gave you every token she had every day for the gratitude you gave her in that moment. Until the day the breath leaves my body I will remember that moment. The moment you realized the worth of your sister, the moment you realized she was always in your corner, that instance that you were mature enough to grasp a straw of what having a sister truly entails.
I am so proud of the little girl you have become. It makes me sad to see you growing up but excited to see how you will blossom in the years to come! I love you, Dinky Do!