Today we celebrated your 6th birthday! I found myself at different points during the day thinking back to the day you were born and every time I found myself amazed at how quickly time has gone by. You are, without a doubt, everything we could ever ask for and more. You are kind, sweet, smart, funny and driven! You love to learn new things and are always, always, always asking questions. I know that drive to learn will take you far in life. You are thoughtful and giving, but also shy in certain situations. I am so thankful that you have a heart that sees the best in people at all times. You wonder about injustices in a way that makes me wonder about them too in a deeper sort of way.
This year you held a lemonade stand to benefit our local blessing box that offers food to people who need it. You came up with this idea all on your own one day after we had dropped off food at the box. You asked why we took food there and I explained to you that sometimes people just don’t have enough food to eat. We had a long conversation, in an age appropriate way, about why that might be and what kinds of things can happen in life to make it so that someone doesn’t have enough food. What I’ll never forget from that conversation is how your mind was processing through the fact that some people’s basic needs are not met and you were “with-it” enough to know that you could help. When you asked to have a lemonade stand to help I felt such immense pride knowing that you “got” the gist of the conversation. You knew that it didn’t so much matter the “how’s” or the “why’s” of what lead people to struggle, all that mattered was that you had the power to help make things a little better. Taking initiative is such an important step in life, Rachel. I know that you will go far if you always listen to your heart and look for ways to show people what God’s love is like.
You raised nearly $100 from your lemonade stand and we filled up an entire grocery cart full of items to put in the blessing box! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too small to do anything to help! You can do anything you set your mind to.
This year you started school and boy are we ever proud of you! The first day of school I thought there might be tears getting on the bus, but you hopped on that bus so fast and sat down in your seat to wave good-bye and before I even knew it the bus was headed up the street to take you to school. You are reading and writing like nobody’s business these days. We find little post-it notes of yours around the house everywhere.
Still one of your favorite things is playing with Jake and playing on the beach. Here you both are chasing the birds at the beach. I’m amazed at how you always see the good in people, even when your brother can be a little bit, um, punchy–shall we say? He can be a handful, but he is A TON of fun! You always tell people that he’s “just a teensy bit wild!”
Of course, since it’s Christmas time I have noticed that you have not waivered from your viewpoint of his standing on the “Nice List.” “OF COURSE he’s on the nice list,” you always say. You are the absolute best big sister. Sometimes you even help me put Jake to sleep by rubbing his back. He loves you so much too!
Rachel, we thank God for you every day. We know that you are bound to do great things in this world and we can’t wait to see what amazing things are in store for you. You told me earlier that you think you were put on earth to “help people,” and I don’t mean to sound corny here but it makes me misty-eyed because I feel like you really get what life is all about. Thank you for reminding us that we are called to love and serve in any way we can, even if (and especially when) we don’t understand.
Happy 6th Birthday, sweet Rachel! I love you to the moon and back and forever and always. You are everything we hoped and prayed you would be and more.
I love you.