Tomorrow, my sweet girl turns 5. For weeks, Alannah has been asking me about my own 5th birthday. What I wore, how we celebrated, the gifts that I received. Nothing came to mind, but I did remember that I was extremely happy, and beyond blessed.
There’s magic in the age of 5. You’re one of the big kids that goes to school. You’re one of the cool kids that writes the FULL alphabet, draws pictures, and has complete conversations with your friends and family. You are pretty much a grown-up, right? This is how my own little girl views the big event of turning 5. More “big girl” clothes, better shoes, lots of friends. To her, 5 is almost 1o, and 10 is when you’re really in the Big Leagues.
As I watch her grow, I can’t help but think of the world she’s thriving in, and how much heartache and suffering she may endure. I’ve made many wishes for her.
That she’ll find her calling.
That she’ll always love adventures.
That she’ll fall in love.
That she’ll know all about gratitude.
That she’ll create her own family, in whatever way she chooses to do so.
That she’ll always love to learn.
That she’ll demand respect from others, and give it when it’s due.
That life won’t break her down, but break her through, into something truly awesome.
That she’ll be selective with her friends, and keep them close.
That she’ll live in truth and joy.
That she’ll enjoy the laughs and the tears, equally.
I wish all of those things for her, yes. But I have a deeper wish for her. A wish that correlates with how our world is today, and how I pray it will become in the future. My big wish?
I wish that she will grow up to celebrate being the beautiful Black girl that she will continue to be. That one day, she’ll fall in love with a person that will make her feel so important and valued, that it scares her a bit. I wish that person, man or woman, of any nationality, will become her family. That she will feel safe with them, walking the streets of their town with their children, however many they may choose to have. That if she and her Love decide to live in a southern state, like South Carolina, they would be welcomed with open arms and no prejudices. That if she decides to marry a beautiful white woman, that their family can attend services at a historical black church, like Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. That she and her family can be present with The Lord without feeling judged or condemned by the Christian community she’s loved since she was 2 years old. I want her to have no fear of being truly herself. I want her to feel the freedom of being who she is in her soul, and not the version that is “good in public” or “polite for the white people at work.”
Be fun. Be wild. Be open. Be a leader. Be dramatic. Be elegant. Be strong.
Be Straight. Be Gay. Be amazing. Be safe. Be loved. Just be.
Happy birthday, my spectacular little angel. May all the wishes that I have for you come true.