My oldest turns six today. As with everything in this life when a new milestone is reached, I wonder how time moves so quickly. 

How did she go from infant, to baby, to toddler to a beautiful little girl ready to head off to kindergarten? Wasn’t I just holding her in my arms wondering how I could possibly love this much? Time is a mystery like that. Maybe you’ve thought that too? 

Here’s a note to her in honor of her sixth year. 

My Ella,

Today you are six. I knew this day would come but it’s here quicker than I ever imagined. That happens with most moments in this life – especially the good ones. You’re one of the great ones. 

When we first met, I was scared. At one point the nurses, and doctors, family and friends all left the hospital room and it was just you and me. Your tiny little body was resting nicely in your portable hospital crib. I almost asked permission to take you out and hold you – until I remembered you were mine to keep. 

The first few months were tough. You cried a lot. We spent many hours on the open road listening to Bon Jovi and other 80s and 90s ballads. The car was about the only thing that would put you to sleep. One afternoon during those early days, you were crying so long and so loud, I had to take a break. I placed you in the middle of my bed and just stared. I wanted to comfort you. I wanted to stop your crying. I started crying, too – asking God if I could do this. 

I’m so thankful He knew I could. 

You’re growing up to be such a loving, kind, beautiful and funny girl. Gosh you make me laugh. I love that about you. Laughter will take you far in this life. You’re sensitive, too and cry easily when others are upset or when feelings get hurt. We’re a lot alike in that category. You drive me crazy when you’re sassy or whiney. I think we share that trait, too. 

You’ll start school soon. You’re ready for that adventure. I’m not sure how to feel about it. I’m excited to watch you grow and learn and meet new friends, but I’m afraid, too. I know kids can be mean. I know school can be hard. It makes my heart hurt to know you’ll have to endure those moments. We all do, Ella. We all do. It’s a part of life. I know you’ll always shine – even during the tough days. 

I cherish our late night talks. It’s such a treat to lie beside you in your polka dot bed and talk about the day’s events. You’ve grown so much since we started that weekly tradition. You used to talk about your lunch for the day or activities you played. Now our talks go farther. We chat about friends and family and God. You’ve even asked about Heaven and babies, too. I hope these talks never end. 

You don’t know this – but every night after you’ve gone to sleep, I sneak back into your room. Sometimes I’ll give you a quick kiss on the forehead and quietly whisper good night. Other times, I’ll stand there for a moment just staring at your sweet face, wondering how I got so lucky to have you. 

Ella, my love for you has no boundaries. It is limitless and grows stronger each day. You are a blessing to me now and forever. As you grow, I hope you’ll know just how honored I am to be your Mom.

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Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.