Emily is 21!
Where does the time go? You are a full grown woman and I am not sure how that happened!?
A Letter to my 21 year old daughter:
Today you are 21 years old. Birthdays mean something different to parents than they do to kids. To us, we cannot help but think about the day our child came into our lives, and every one since then. As this day approaches every year I am sent back in time to the morning you arrived and your dad danced around the room with you to an island praise song. And then you choosing your own name!
I have had a certain song playing in my head that we used to sing to you every night after stories and prayers:
Good night, Emily. Sleep tight, Emily.
Jesus keep your dreams.
The God above is the God of love
so little girls sleep in peace.
If ever you should wake up in the middle of the night, remember God is watching you so everything’s alright.
In the morning when you rise,
the first thing you should do
is thank the Lord with all your heart
for watching over you, He’s watching over you. (chorus)
Gazing at your tiny, delicate features, acquainting myself with this new little person I had always loved but just met, it was clear that you did in fact have your daddy’s eyes. But only time would tell who you would resemble. I would have to wait and watch you grow. At the time, that was beyond my realm of imagination. I was content to keep you my cooing, nuzzling little bundle forever.
Sometimes I miss Baby Emily and her big, squishy cheeks that were irresistible to kiss, her straight ragamuffin hair that was always in her eyes even with a headband, scented with the freshness of baby shampoo and the natural sweetness of brand new life. But if I had only had Baby Emily for these past 21 years, I would have missed out on all the things you have become and all the things you have created that I have packed away in my heart and in the garage! And I would not have discovered that you, my sweet daughter, resemble yourself – a blend of your dad and your mom and the heritage and personality of people before you called family!
From very early on, it was apparent you are a dreamer. I remember the time you looked at the sky and said very matter of factly, “God is painting the sky to tell us he loves us”. Dreaming is a necessity. It is the gateway to imagination, and imagination leads to all kinds of good things. But I also think I would be an irresponsible mom if I did not tell you to keep sight of reality. People will tell you that you can be anything. Well, that is not really true. Everyone has limitations, but those are a blessing if you recognize them and see your limits as guides, directing your focus toward your gifts. Find a gift that fuels passion, then dream as big as you can. And remember that the bridge between dreams and reality does not build itself. Only your own strong work ethic, and maybe God’s favor, will make that happen.
We’ve seen you draw, well, anything and everything and on any and everything!. Let that passion live inside you always, and don’t forget to use it every now and again, even when it seems you have more important things to do. Growing up you wanted to be an artist and it is a good thing, for your blood is rainbow colored. And no matter what you make your living at it does not change the artist that you are. But if you choose another living for yourself, don’t let your love for your other interests fall by the wayside. The pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with creating something is important, even if you only create for yourself. The same could be said of your singing! From the time you heard the acoustics in the bathroom at Westlake Christian Academy Pre-K you have been singing with abandon and skill. May you always sing and may your voice be used for the King.
Friends and what they think has always mattered to you. I want to remind you that you don’t have to do what everyone else does. I hope you remember those words all your life. At the same time, the part of me that wants to enshroud you in bubble wrap and hang a sign on you that saysÂ Please say only nice things to my daughter. There has been bullying. There has been teasing. There has been times of loneliness. People hurt your feelings and tried to make you feel bad about yourself. But try to remember this in the midst of it, though it has been hard: you are exactly the person God meant for you to be. Not everyone will like you; that is a universal truth for everyone. So you should never change yourself for someone else. Otherwise, you will be changing all the time. And you will find people who love you for who you are! I will always be first on that list. You will never be truly alone, because I am here for you anywhere, anytime. And more importantly, so is Jesus! I have been down many of the roads you will be traveling, and I promise to do my best to remember how it feels to be your age. You may not always like what I have to say, but my love for you will always be boundless.
So you have grown another year’s worth of becoming who you are, who you will be. Seeing you discover yourself has been one of the greatest privileges of my life, and it will continue to be as I watch you add new layers. But underneath it all, you will always have a part of me nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me – my little girl – my Emiline Harris Mohler.
May you be happier than a thousand rainbows and may your next year be magical!