For Skyla on her 5th birthday

Dear Skyla,

You are 5 now. A whole hand. Your birthday did not go as planned. You were okay with it. I felt bad.

The week before your 5th birthday, you told me you were happy you were born. The day before your birthday, you told me you were sad that you couldn’t be a baby anymore. But you don’t necessarily love it when I call you “baby.” I’m sorry but I can’t stop. I also call you “big girl” to make up for it.

I am more tender, more watery as we get older. I cry more but I’m tougher than ever. So are you. I dropped you off at all-day ski school by yourself last week and you were scared. You cried a little but you didn’t put up a fuss. I was proud of you.

You have a flare for fashion, a fearless sense of style. It’s one of those things I sometimes forget to see until other adults point it out.

You’re taking ballet, gymnastics, and swimming. You have skied and rock climbed and you’re coasting on your balance bike. You are 43 inches tall and 36 pounds. You pack tremendous force, personality, and awareness into this little package.

You were the “choreography leader” in your ballet class for the recital last year. You are graceful and serious and a good listener (when you want to be). You are friendly and open-hearted.

You are also shy. You only become chatty once you get to know people. You are not afraid to raise your hand at school and share. I love the blog posts by your teachers because they record what you have said, and it’s almost like being a fly on the wall.

You didn’t have expectations for your birthday beyond a cake and a sleepover (or two). At school, they made you a crown and handed out popsicles and said kind words. I was honored to witness these moments and read stories aloud to your class for the celebration. I noticed how the other children look up to you and want to play with you. You are one of the older kids in the class and I think this is good for you, the youngest in our family.

Our home is chaotic at times. And lately we have been especially unsettled. Your dad and I are still learning how to be parents. We are still learning how to not react to misbehavior. In a conversation with Oprah, Eckhart Tolle said that applying this non-reaction is all we need for our spiritual practice while we are raising you.

Non-attachment is not anyone’s forte around here.

We’re learning how to be patient. We remind each other to be patient (sometimes even patiently).

You ask a lot of questions about God and death. I’m trying to explain things the best way I understand them. I want you to believe that all things are possible. I want you to understand Christ consciousness as a concept that has little to do with religion.

I hope you know gratitude for Mother Earth and Father God. I hope you feel how we are all connected by a single thread, this force that beats our hearts. We all have a little bit of God in us. We are the daughters and the sons.

You love your family so much. We love you so much. Thank you thank you thank you.

With all my heart,

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February 23, 2019


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