My Dearest Caroline James,
It’s hard to believe you have been in my arms for two years now. You are growing up before my eyes and it fills me with wonder and joy, sadness and fear. So many emotions (probably the most exhausting part of being a parent.) I marvel at what a beautiful and kind little person you are becoming! Your smile and your bubbly energy can lighten the mood of a room in an instant. But I am also terrified of what this world will do to you as you journey further into it and away from my protective arms. How does a mother let her daughter spread her wings in the world as it is today?
Sweet girl, you are so strong and brave. But this world is hard and it can be filled with dark and scary things. I want you to remember a few things as you grow and become more independent.
ALWAYS be kind and generous.
As you grow, you will start to see that many people in this world are not kind and that many more are selfish. I want you to be different, baby girl. You have inherited your Great Meme’s kind and generous heart and I want you to embrace it! I want you to spread kindness like wildfire, just like your Great Meme did her whole life. You are her legacy, and you should be proud to be so much like her.
Trust God, and trust your instincts.
I hope that I can instill in you a deep sense of faith. Our God is a loving and trustworthy God. He has a plan and a purpose for your life that is more beautiful than even I can imagine. Learn to talk to Him daily, put your faith in Him alone, and trust Him with all things. He will never fail you. And He will give you the instincts and discernment you need to make hard choices and face hard things in this life. You will never fall when you lean into Him.
Love deeply and let yourself be loved.
One day you will decide that boys are kinda cool (not for a VERY long time. haha). You’ll begin to think about them and dream about marrying one someday. Dream away, baby! Here’s the thing, though: I want you to remember that love is worth it when it’s real, but love is not the same thing as affection, gifts, or other romantic movie stuff. Love is sacrifice and hard work. Love is being more concerned about the wellbeing of your other half than you are for your own. Love also means sometimes having your heart broken, and that’s okay too. Broken hearts heal, and loving deeply and truly is worth it. I want you to fall in love, and fall hard, but also let yourself–your true self–be loved deeply in return. Don’t hold back when you find your love, sweet girl. Love is always worth the risk.
You are worthy of all good things.
Never, ever, ever, ever settle for second best. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not worthy. You are smart, talented, kind, beautiful, and capable of doing anything you set your mind to. You should chase after the best of everything and expect that it can be yours because you are worth everything good.
Don’t be afraid to fight.
If you see injustice or inequality or corruption, I want you to be brave and bold enough to fight against it. When you know that someone is doing wrong, I want you to stand up and tell the world about it and then do your best to fight against it. You may not win every battle, because sometimes this world favors greed over good, but it doesn’t matter. Fight anyway. Be the light and the voice and the advocate for good in this world. Fighting for what is right is always the right choice.
Baby, you are a joy to my life and I hope that I can teach you all of these things before you face the world on your own. I am so blessed to get to love you and be your mommy. The world is better for having you in it, my baby girl. Never forget that you are a treasure, a gift and that you have been called to be a light in this world.
I love you, my baby girl.