This has been a big month for you . . . the month of twelve. Naomi: sweet one. Your name fits you so well and yet you are a strong one too and we need to add that part in soon – strong tower, a refuge of strength. You are both sweet and strong . . . . . and your sweet strength will be needed for your generation . . . for the world. If I told you what I see in your future you would barely believe it. And yet it would make perfect sense. I am raising someone so essential to God’s good plans and the older you get the more I realize it.
I want to tell you that I am so proud of who you are and of who you are becoming. So proud of the grace and the ease with which you carry yourself. I am proud of your elegance and of your natural shining beauty. I love the incredible way you clothe yourself and I love that you make whatever is trendy uniquely yours over and over and over again. You have always set a standard for beauty. And girls still follow you, follow your eye and your heart.
I love that you carry that, their admiration, with such simple grace. Not too proud of who you are but not unaware. You know your intelligence, your quickness, your organizational abilities. You know that you shine at the very top of your class, effortlessly. You dance through your days, unconsciously. I love that about you, the way a leap and a twirl and an artistic arm gesture are your natural ways of expressing your excitement and your joy. You are a dancer . . . we all see it in every line of your body.
And the courage you’ve had these last few years. To step out into the great unknown of this American world and this school life. I watched you learn to throw and catch a baseball only last week and it was your squeals and jumps that captured my heart. Your sheer delight at trying something new and learning that you too can do it! I love that, how you learn and learn and learn; sometimes it’s history and sometimes it’s popular music and social media. You watch the world around you and you try it yourself and you keep breaking new ground and surprising me with how very much you know and how little I need to tell you anymore.
But you are still my baby. I love that you will crawl into my arms and let me cuddle you. I love to cup your face in my hands and kiss your nose. I love the way you always always smell of flowers. I love that special place on your hairline where your special Naomi scent is the strongest and purest. You still let me crawl in bed with you sometimes and how I treasure each of those moments. I love the way you demand the best, sweet girl. Love how your body cries out for the softest smoothest sheets and the warmest fluffiest comforter. You are royalty, made for greatness. I know that you will always demand quality and beauty and comfort in your life, as you have since your newborn days. And now I see that it’s so good. It’s part of who He made you to be. Called to excellence. Called to comfort. Called to Beauty. Called to Life.
You have learned how to laugh at yourself, but how to laugh well, with only joy. And you love to laugh at your Daddy too. That makes me smile every day. The way you provoke him, on purpose. And the way he treats you – with such tenderness, such respect and such joy. When I see you two together, the smarticles: the long, lean, intelligent, organized, detailed, quality loving, number people . . . . it makes me happy. You are two peas in a pod and you bring each other life. He brings determination and perseverance to you and you bring grace and beauty to him. You think alike and yet your thoughts make each other better people.
And you are a good lover of people. I know that you do not enjoy meeting strangers or making awkward conversation but you truly love the people in your life. Thank you for being the friend that everyone can trust. You keep secrets well and you know when to tell them too. You enter into the strange and confusing world of boys and yet your boundaries are strong and safe and appropriate. When I see you at school, by chance, you are shimmering. Like butterflies you and your friends hover, trembling with excitement, anticipation and joy together. Always laughing. I love the community God has given you here. I love too how you are a big sister to the whole neighborhood. You are the one the littles long to play with. They look up to you and you are so very patient with their ways. That is because you are a mother at heart, an instinctive nurturer and because you have not lost the magic of childhood. I pray you never do. You still create and imagine and dream your reality out in the dress up box and in the green. You still can remake a bedroom into a whole world of play in just a few minutes. This too is one of your gifts, the way you recreate things to express a vision in your heart. Would you believe me if I told you that you are an artist of the best kind?
If I have used the word “love” a few too many times, I hope the world will forgive me. The feelings in my heart each time I see your glowing ever-changing eyes and the smoothness of your forehead, each time you lean into me for an always-taller-hug. Well these feelings are so difficult to describe. But one thing I know for sure, they are love. Hugs and kisses my sweet princess. Each year with you keeps getting better.