Friday, July 23, 2010

Julia Grace Gardner

Today you turn 11 years old. Hidden, I watched you run around the living room in your hot pink pjs last night; arms extended high twirling a blanket over your head in a fluid motion. You were singing at the top of your lungs a show tune (a woman after my own heart) and tormenting your little brother by whacking him on the crown of his head every time you circled past his spot on the couch.

I couldn’t help but notice how graceful you looked despite the childish cackling and playful banter; it was more grown up than I have ever seen you. Your arms are longer, you lips are beginning to pout, your curves are developing and your feet are now bigger than mine. Quickly, I realized that I was amidst a very sacred moment in every girl’s life-- to quote the highly knowledgeable, Britney Spears, your “not a girl, not yet a woman”.

There is something truly magical about you Julia. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with a heart as big as yours. You’re unlike anyone I know. With your hands you make beautiful creations—always drawing, sculpting and making little fuzzy animals out of cotton balls. You can use your imagination to entertain yourself for hours. With your ears you listen to me when I tell you about my day or talk to you about the good and the bad. Your sensitive to others feelings and almost wear yourself out trying to make everyone feel happy and loved. With your eyes you have a knack for mixing and matching out-fits to make the perfect ensemble. You already have a fashion sense all your own and refuse to conform to any taste or suggestion. With your heart, you willing give a piece of it to me and to your Uncle Jake, Grandma Carol and Pop-Rod. How lovingly you have accepted us into your family blows my mind. Thank you for loving me, Julia Grace.

These past two years have been more fulfilling than any in my whole life. I feel so loved being a part of your family. Your daddy has given this to me; you and Mitch have given this to me. You have made the best out of your past heartaches and have used them to teach you and grow you into the young lady you are today. The way you have handled having two families has shown more maturity, openness, kindness and understanding on your end than most adults could ever do.

I am so excited to see you continue to grow up and know that each and every milestone will prove that your Mommy and Daddy did something right--they have raised the best girl I know. And although the two hour long Barbie soap-opera’s are beginning to dwindle, Disney channel will eventually be replaced by MTV and the thousands of stuffed animals that accompany you to sleep will eventually drop off to none, I love the innocence you are still clinging onto for dear life and through it I am reminded of how I use to be when I was your age and who I should be as a grown woman today.

Happy Birthday, Julia. Keep the magic!

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Sole Matters said...

what a sweet post!!

Ms. Emily Ann said...

This is the sweetest post! Julia is lucky girl to be so loved! Hope you have fantastic birthday celebrations!

we hate you. love, us said...

I love this post - it's soo sweet!!!

kellenreid said...

Sweet. Happy birthday, Julia.

Marcie said...

I found your blog through "Blog Rock". I hate to be a stalker-but your blog is fantastic. I love the mix of down-to-earth, wild and crazy, and full of faith. In other words-a real person.

Aly @ Analyze This said...

You are so sweet to your beautiful stepdaughter, Julia! She is very lucky to have you in her life. :)