To my daughters

As our family walked along the beach of Lake Yellowstone and explored, I had the time to reflect on what a blessing it is to be a mother. Each of our girls is a special spirit, and it is a privilege to be their temporary steward. It was then I got the idea of writing an open letter to all four of them, telling each one thing I love about them right now.


As the oldest child, you have responsibility thrust on your shoulders. We often ask you to fetch a child from the yard for lunchtime or to help someone get her shoes on. But even when you're not fulfilling a parental request, you exude authority. It's not surprising that toddlers seek you out for help finding a friend or that your younger cousins come to you when they want help getting on a swing. You are a helpful and responsible young lady. I can trust you to watch over your little sisters even when I haven't asked you to. I've come to rely on you for so many things this summer that I'm a little afraid of what it will be like when you head back to school next week.


I hope you never lose your ability to see things through fresh eyes. So many times I have heard you express appreciation for the area in which we live or the places we visit. "We're so lucky to live in Idaho Falls so we can walk the greenbelt." "It's so fun coming to Yellowstone. It's so beautiful here." "I'm glad we live in our neighborhood." Your gratitude is refreshing in a world where people take simple things for granted or have an attitude of entitlement. Yes, we do live in a beautiful area; it's just a small part of a beautiful world that God has made for us. My wish for you is that you'll be able to see many parts of the world and appreciate the beauty in all of them.


You have an imagination that rivals inventors, authors and scientists. Whether you're playing with Polly Pockets in your bedroom or sticks in the yard, you can create whole worlds. As you start kindergarten and encounter so many new people and ideas, I understand that you'll need to conform to behavioral standards, but I hope you can retain your ability to keep your mind free and open to new ideas. You are incredibly bright and vivacious. May you continue to find the fun in all situations, no matter how mundane.


You still have so much growing to do, and we have a lot to learn about the person you are. But it's already obvious that you have a love of words. You've proved that your vocabulary is expansive for your age, and your love of books will help it continue to expand. If you're feeling sad, you want me to read you a book. When you go to bed, you have to have a book. Even though you have years to go before you enter public schooling, you know exactly where the library is at Fairview, and it's your favorite place in the entire building. I hope your thirst for words is never satiated.

To all four girls,

Your parents love you so much. We see a glimpse of your potential and are overwhelmed by the possibilities your lives have. We know that, with your continued education both spiritual and temporal — you will be an asset in the world and help others see the good in themselves. Thank you for sharing your personalities with us.