I sent this to Gayle last week for her birthday in a card with a hummingbird on the cover. When she got it and her gifts, she wrote back a text of thanks and love. While I would prefer letters and art, a text is a beginning. AND she does sometimes send letters and artwork.
Happy Birthday Gayle!
I can't believe you are already ten already. In less time than you've been alive, you'll be an adult. In two years, you begin Young Women's and your adult in training years. The choices you make over the next eight years will determine your success and happiness. Young people who think they are acting like adults, when they rebel take drugs, drink alcohol, use tobacco, slack off school, break commandments, and other unwholesome and sinful practices, really put road blocks into their lives. Responsible, active, rule-following youth are happier than their rebellious, lazy partying peers. How do I know this when I'm a grandma? I just finished raising a houseful of youth AND I was a youth myself. "But that was a long time ago, Grammy," you may be thinking.
At 51, it was a long time ago that I was 10 or 14 or 18, true, but the temptation to rebel and stray from the path is the same in all ages since Adam and Eve. When Uncle Spencer was a tiny baby, I took him with my to my grandma's 75th birthday party. I was 27 at the time. Grandma seemed ancient. With about zero tact, I asked Grandma, "What does it feel like to be 75?" She replied. "It feels just like it did to be 17 in my heart. Only my body is old." Reflecting upon what she said, I realized 27 felt no different than 10 or 12, except I had all the responsibility of being a mom, too. Soo....I'm trying to tell you I do remember how it felt to be 10 and how strange it was as my body changed and how weird it felt to be emotional sometimes for no reason at all. I also remember how it felt to go against my parent's rules and get away with something. As exciting as that was, nothing I ever did during rule breaking made me happy in the end.
Keeping God's commandments and following the wise counsel of parents can be irritating and seem irrational to youth. However, I promise if you choose this much easier and even more joyful path, you will be happy on earth. Oh sure, you will still have problems big and small, but somehow problems are easier and burdens lighter with parents and God on your side.
Yesterday, I clipped dead twigs off citrus trees to provide fuel for my rocket stove. These are also called twig stoves, because they can cook a whole meal with nothing but dried leaves and twigs. Anyway...the lemon tree is close to the hummingbird feeders. One male hummingbird has become pretty bold and possessive over one feeder. So, while I was clipping, he hovered by my head sort of saying. "Excuse me, but you're in my way." I stepped back and apologized. He drank his fill, looked at me, and flew away. It was pretty funny. Also, the other day, I cleaned and refilled this feeder, but not fast enough for his taste. He hovered at the window looking in the whole time. He cracks me up. It's going to be too bad for him, when we go up for tax season soon.
Speaking of soon, I've been asked to tend Sammy and Quinn. If everything goes as planned, we're going to have a cousins pizza and cupcake party to celebrate Quinn's b-day and yours also. I hope everything works out, because I want to see your ten year old face and give you a big grammy hug.
We rented a tiny cottage for tax season right on the river. Since I adore tiny houses, I can't wait to see it in person. The river has a bike trail all the way to the grocery store, so I plan to do a lot of biking on that trail WITH a helmet of course. Why do I love tiny houses? When I was about your age, my friend's cousin moved into their already crowded house with his wife and two children. My friend and her roomy were squeezed out of their room by the adult cousin and his wife. The first weekend the friend's cousin and dad built a room in the backyard for the three girls. Charmed as I could be the first time I saw it, I loved the three cots with lots of frilly pillows and fluffy comforters lined up in a row with wee doily covered tables in between and the petite white table and chairs under the cheery curtained window. We pretended we were all grown up, living as roomies in our own little house sort of like Anne Shirley in Anne of the Island. Anyway...ever since then I've been charmed by diminutive dwellings.
Well, Gayle, my dear, we love you very much. As you grow into a young women it's very important to remember that many people love and care about you: parents, Jesus, Heavenly Father, aunts, uncles, brother, grandparents, and cousins. Your success is our joy. The way to find that success is easier than many would have you believe and pretty much free of drama: be smart, be grateful, be prayerful, be clean, be loyal, and be humble. I know with all my heart and also from experience that this path is the better path.
Have a delightful and successful year ten.
Love Ya Lots!