Dear Layla…

My dearest Layla –

I can’t believe you’re about to be 5 this month! And in these past years of being your god-mom, I’ve watched you grow from a tiny, adorable little gal that would fit in just my hands, to a big girl – starting school, tying your own shoes and knowing that I love you because I get you Chicken Nuggets.

For you, time seems to drag on – a hour can last an eternity. But for me, and most adults (errrr – trying to adult) – that hour feels like 5 minutes. So before time slips away from me and I’m too senile or totally un-cool to tell you this in public, here’s a few things I want you to know.

Be kind.
Some days are going to be hard. Those are the days it’s just easier to go to bed early. When you’re 21, I’ll bring over some wine.
Don’t ever worry about being skinny – just be healthy.
You can do anything you want to do, but not everything.
Don’t lose your curiosity, don’t let that sparkle in your eye dim.
Being ‘busy’ isn’t all that fun – live with intention.
Confidence is beauty. ‘Pretty’ isn’t your self worth, unless you’re that basic. (Which you are NOT, young lady! *Stomps foot!)
Life is very unfair, but that doesn’t call for a pity party. Try again, never stop. Many of the people you look  up to have failed more times that you’ve tried. Keep going.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. There are too many sheep in this world.
Be a leader, not a boss.
You are enough. Please don’t look for your own approval from others, because you’ll never get it.
Be brave, work hard, and live the life that YOU want – not what you think you should be doing.
Give freely – no one has gone poor from that yet.
Don’t be anyone’s puppet on a string. My own Momma told me that, and it’s done me just fine.
Love knows no boundaries. Be forgiving, but don’t be a fool.
Travel, as much and a far as you can, as often as you can. You come home a different, better person each and every time.
Learn something new everyday, and never stop. A girl with a good head on her shoulders with your sass – unstoppable.
Be fierce, but be friendly.
And always, always know that you are loved.

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elainajanes@yahoo.comElizabethtown, KY
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