letters to my daughter :: march

March 15, 2013

I’m Marla
Sprinkled throughout this journey are the little joys, moments of inspiration, and snippets of life that add color to our human experience. Join me as we embrace the beauty of imperfect perfection, the magic of a beautiful moment, and the endless possibilities of creativity.

Dear Sweet Eva,

This month is your birthday month. In fact, we just celebrated your birthday last Friday and now you are 9 years old. How are you growing up so quickly? This is the very last year of single digits and I’m kind of beside myself about it all. On one hand, I’m grateful that you are exactly you and growing into a lovely young lady who has such a strength of character and is growing into exactly who she should be; but on the other, I’m clamoring inside about the fact that before I know it, you’re going to be big and grown up. In this letter, I thought it would be a great opportunity to set what I’ve been sharing with you aside and tell you all about you at this stage in your life. I want you to know that I see you and notice all these wonderful things about you continually, because I think one of the strong heart desires of a female is to feel known. And you my dear, are likely the person I know best.

Here you are, on your birthday, in the morning before school:

About You

  • In listing some of your character attributes, you are: kind, friendly, encouraging, curious, smart, free-spirited, and shy yet outgoing.
  • Your favorite colors change constantly, yet you always say both blue and red because those are favorites of your dad’s (blue) and mine (red). After you say blue and red, you start listing off your other favorites and by the time you’ve finished, you’ve usually described a whole rainbow.

  • You become intensely focused on whatever you’re interested in or doing. This depth of focus has helped you learn amazing things about the world already–for instance, hundreds of bird species by sight and sound. A while back, you were able to identify almost every bird in a very large North American bird book, though you are quite knowledgeable about parrots also because they are your favorite. While we were in Hawaii, you paid money to hold your dream bird and have your picture taken. It was a dream you had in your heart for two years and though I wasn’t very supportive of you spending your money that way beforehand, it was quite magical to see and feel the happiness you experienced from it all.
  • You are constantly writing plays with the intention of creating an actual performance. This includes making props and costumes, choosing background music, selecting a cast, and trying to figure out how to get it on Broadway. Though not quite Broadway, your teacher Miss Miller is letting your class perform one of your plays next Friday.
  • You crazy love animals. Most of your interests have always surrounded animals, you have a habit of collecting them (live ones), and all of your toys are animals. You haven’t ever really gravitated toward or played with anything else. You still play with your animal figurines and plushies and you recently created an entire zoo in our family room. One of your sections was labeled, “Animals People Keep As Pets, But Can’t Be Trained.”

  • You are friends with everyone, but your best friends are Julia and Hannah. They are both very sweet girls, like you.
  • You are a helper. You are ready to help or assist in a moment’s notice and are often asking if you can. I’m trying to be better about letting you help me any time you offer.  Your face lights up every time I tell you what a great helper you are.
  • You LOVE to snuggle and hug, and you LOVE, LOVE sleeping in my bed. My friends with little boys are always telling me that the best part of having boys is how sweet and affectionate they are; but you are so lovey, I can’t imagine it ever being any greater.
  • When I give you a bunch of smoochy kisses all over your face, you ask me if there are hearts all over. I always tell you yes.
  • You are very talented at drawing, significantly more so than I was at your age. Your teacher says that you could likely have a career in art if you wanted. At this point, you’d really like to be a zookeeper, which to me is so much better than when you wanted to be a taxidermist. Art would be great too. Not that long ago, you said you’d like to be a great photographer just like me… it about melted my heart. You can work with me anytime, Love.

  • You’re very funny and lighthearted, but at the same time your feelings get hurt very easily. You don’t always show it, especially if you’re out of the house, but I can always tell. You have a very sensitive heart and I find it so endearing.
  • You STRUGGLE with change of any kind. This might be common of your age, but it’s definitely something I notice. You just really like things as they are, you tell me.

  • Your favorite foods are spaghetti and meatballs; sushi; blueberries; and french bread. You could eat any of these things every single day and be perfectly happy.
  • You take piano lessons and gymnastics and you really enjoy both. You are able to play Fur Elise and Ode to Joy quite well, as they are your favorites currently. In gymnastics, you are starting to get the hang of cartwheels.
  • You love to play still and I adore this about you. You really could care less about popular culture or what your peers are into, you just love to play and that makes my heart happy.
  • You still call me Mama and oh how I love hearing it! I think I love it so much because it reminds me of the “little” that is still within you. Sometime in the not-so-distant-future, I expect that you won’t do this anymore so I’m relishing all the times you still do.

Nine years ago, you changed my life in the most amazing and abundant of ways. Ways I couldn’t have expected and only dreamed of. And since then I’ve had such an honor to cherish and love you, but I also have had the responsibility to help grow and shape you into the woman God designed you to be. I started out a novice and have been trying to go off clues and intuition as to how to do it all. Sometimes I feel as if love just envelopes us and we live in the most delightful dream, and then sometimes I feel as if I’m failing you and that I could and should be doing so much better. Then I try to remind myself that this is the condition of being a good parent, and I truly believe I am one of those to you.  When it all comes down to it, I only want the very best for you always and I love you with every fiber of my being. I am so grateful and honored to be your mother; you are the absolute best.

All my love,



Please be sure to continue with the Letters to Our Children posts, starting with Rachel May Clark.  I promise there will be beautifully inspiring images and touching words throughout. Rachel’s post can be found here.

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  1. Rachel May says:

    Loved this Marla… I look forward to coming to your blog each month and reading what you’ve wrote. Being a part of this group is so very inspiring and helps me to be a better mom. Thank you for sharing your heart. <3

  2. Rebecca says:

    What an amazing daughter you have! And what an amazing mommy you are!! I loved reading every single word. And your images are simply beautiful. XO

  3. In love with that braid shot.

  4. So beautiful and thoughtful. What a wonderful mama you are to take this opportunity to list so many incredible things about your sweet girl.

  5. Such a wonderful description of a blossoming young lady. She is beautiful and so fortunate to have you guiding her through life.

  6. melissa says:

    touching and heartfelt and pure love. you know her so well…your boundless love for her shines through these images and your words. beautiful post, marla!

  7. Beautiful images and I loved reading about her. Xo

  8. Hannah Mayo says:

    She is beautiful, and so lucky to have a mother who sees her and takes the time to truly know her.

  9. Marla,
    Tears, so many tears. I sit here reading this thinking of my Ellie who turns 9 in a few weeks. Knowing that we have to let go but feeling how hard it is. Our girls share many commonalities. I know one day I will miss the many plays she directs with her brother and sister and cousins. I will miss her in our bed every single night. I am grateful she has no idea about pop culture or atleast she doesn’t let on to it….so many things I can relate to. Your daughter is beautiful and you are such a gracious and loving mama…she is blessed!! xo

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