Dear daughter,

Do you know how lucky you are to have sisters? 

I yearned for a sister when I was a little girl. Cried, in fact, when my baby brother was born and I discovered he was a he, not a she. I wanted to send him back, thought there’d been some giant mix-up in the sky and the storks had gotten their lines crossed. (Don’t worry, I eventually learned to love him.)  

But you, dear girl? You’ve hit the genetic jackpot. 

I know you probably don’t think so yet. That’s OK. One day, you’ll understand. 

But right now, your little sister gets into all your things, snatches toys from your grasp, monopolizes the time I used to devote only to you. She’s needy and noisy and a little bit of a nuisance. 

It won’t always be like this. 

One day, that little sister will think you hung the moon. She’ll watch your every move, tucking your examples away in her heart, copying you every chance she gets. You’ll probably find this highly annoying. You’ll snap at her, hurt her feelings, lash out in frustration over and over again. But remember, darling daughter, imitation is the highest form of flattery. She’ll want to be like you because she already admires you more than almost anyone in the world. 

One day, she’ll come to you for advice about boys, her heart confused or hurting or both. Be gentle with her and help her understand her worth isn’t tied to some boy’s opinion of her. 

She’ll want to know if her stomach is flat enough, if her face is pretty enough, if she’s wearing the right clothes. Help her discover her inner beauty, to rest in the confidence that God designed every inch of her body, every ounce of her soul—and it’s more than enough. 

I pray you’ll be patient with her, ever-gentle with her inquisitive nature. I hope you’ll be a soft place for her to land when she struggles through heartbreak or disappointment or fear. As her big sister, you’ll have paved the way, you see, and even though I’ll offer her my advice, a sister outranks a mother in some ways. She’ll listen to you when she might recoil at me. 

And your big sister? She’s all those things to you—and more. She’s your protector, your preferred playmate, your favorite friend. And sure, you press each other’s buttons, and seem to get into ridiculous spats more and more often as she approaches her teens and finds her little sister pesky and annoying. You’re not, by the way—and these days, too, shall pass. 

Extend her bottomless grace. Treat her with kindness. Love her anyway. 

One day you’ll all understand sisterhood is a gift not afforded to everyone. Hold it tightly. Treat it with respect. Treasure it always. 

Sooner than I’d like, you’ll grow up and leave the shelter of our home. Armed with tenacity and tenderness, you’ll make your own way, feed your own passions, make your own mark. I’ll be proud of you—I already am, so very much. 

One day (God-willing, a long time from now), I won’t be here. 

But your sisters? They’re for life. 

And that’s the luckiest part of all. 

One day, I won’t be here (God-willing, a long time from now). But your sisters? They’re for life.

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom