Dear Jocelyn,

Just in three days, you will turn seven. How you wish you’ll grow up faster and how I wish you would slow down.  It’s been such a joy and painful at the same time, watching you grow in the last seven years.

You are now able to make your own decisions. You told me you wanted a birthday party at a fancy place. “Just like my friends, mommy,” you said. We had a discussion about how much it would cost and some other things we could do with that amount of money. In the end, you decided that a lavish birthday party is not necessary and decided to save the money for something else more important. I hugged you very proudly.

I am very happy to say that you continue to use your better judgments to help you make decisions. Last night you said that you’ve decided to visit Oma (grandma) and Opa (grandpa) next summer rather than participating in a dance parade at the Disney World. You simply said, “So I can help taking care of Opa. Feed him and give him a bath.” (My father had a stroke that left him paralyzed.) I was speechless and the only thing I could do was just to hold you tight…very tight.

My dear Jocelyn, as you continue your path, I hope you will continue to be able to see different options and consequences of an action. When life gets a little complicated, I do hope you have all the guidance that you need to help you make good decisions.

I hope you still remember my wish for you last year. Here’s my wish for you on your 7th birthday.

I wish you remain the loving, honest, funny, wise, kind, compassionate person of integrity that you miraculously are today.

I wish you remain the person who dance like nobody is watching and make up your own lyrics.

I wish you remain to tell me your "biggest" secret. “Mommy, I need to tell you something, but please don’t tell anyone else.” Then you whisper in my ear and say the most beautiful thing a mom could hear, “You are the best mom a daughter could ever have.”

I wish you remain to be imaginative. “Call me Cadet Jojo, mommy.” Or “Pretend that I am training in a boot camp. Or "Mommy, we are moving to Australia.”

I wish you remain to do something silly. Walking around the house under a blanket or crawling backwards (not because you can but because you just want to do something silly).

As a mother, I hope that you touch the life of thousands of other people with the same dignity, happiness, care and love that you have touched mine. Happy seventh birthday my Jocelyn. You make me whole in so many ways.
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Please continue on the circle, read all the beautiful letters and enjoy the lovely photos of talented photographers in this project. Start with Shalonda Chaddock of Chubby Cheek Photography
shalonda said...

oh debbie i know ive said it before but ill say it again...i adore the way you see light and LIFE! gah...its so inspiring...and happy happy birthday to your sweet baby girl in a few days xoxo

amygrace said...

sweet debbie...first the images, are always so full of joy, fun, hope and color. there is something so relaxed and real about you, and it reflects in your daughter so strongly. you are the kind of person i would love to spend time with in real life. i would love to see our daughters playing and happy and silly. all of your dreams for her, all of your admiration and respect...it is beautiful. you both are so lucky. what a perfect fit. xo

Sarah C said...

Debbie I am sitting here I tears reading your letter. Our girls are indeed kindred spirits! With a mother like you I haveno doubt your daughter will fulfill all your wishes and then some! Your photos just supplement your letter so well. I can absolutely tell what a beautiful child she is inside and out! I adore you!!!

Sara T said...

Gorgeous little babe. I love love love your images and words of wisdom for her. She is so gorgeous, Debbie! I think these teaching moments are so important to share with them. It gives them a resolute path with a lot of self confidence and for little girls, that is by far one of the most important things you can do as a mom for her daughter in my opinion. No doubt she learns something new every single day from you. What a lucky daughter, indeed! xoxo

kirsty said...

Debbie, I love this sweet letter to your beautiful girl - it gives me a glimpse of what an adorable soul she is, and you are too, for she becomes that with your guidance. Happy Birthday to your sweetie xx

Val Spring said...

Sweet friend of mine, your girl is indeed growing up so quickly! And look how beautiful she is and what an amazing inspiring little girl she's becoming. And that has a lot to do with the way you parent her. With the love she gets from you. And the principles you teach her. Good for her to decide to save the money and for choosing caring for her Grandpa over something that I'm sure sounds like a lot of fun. She's smart and she's choosing using her big tender heart. You are one lucky Mamma and she's one lucky 7 year old girl! Hugs to you both and happy early birthday to your sweet girl! xoxo

Rashmi Pappu said...

Beautiful letter and photographs Debbie! Happy early Birthday to your sweet Jocelyn. She sounds like an amazing little girl who already knows what the most important things in life are.. a testament to the beautiful mother you are to her. xo

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