Five years. 

Five years I've been your go to person. The one who held you when you cried. The one who kissed your hurts when you fell. The one who laughed at your jokes, and made funny faces to make you laugh when you were sad. 

We were your primary caretakers; training you in the way you should go, and helping you see what the choices you made would cause. I encouraged you when you made choices that helped you, and I explained why things weren't a good idea when you were choosing choices that wouldn't help you. 

Five years daddy and I have had you all to ourselves, helping to shape you into who you're meant to be. 

But five years has come and gone. It's now someone else's turn to teach you. Someone else will help you when you get sad. Someone else will laugh at your jokes. Someone else will make you laugh. Someone else will help show you the right choices to make. And someone else will provide consequences when you choose choices that are not helpful. 

Tomorrow is the first day in your life that for the majority of your days, majority of your weeks, majority of your years, you will be with other people. This is good for you. I know it is good for you. We have raised you to speak kindly, love deeply, and bring joy to those around you. You're a natural at that. We need to let you out into the world. The world needs light. 

So we send you out. We pray that Jesus will help you bring love, unconditional love to all of the friends that you make. That you would choose friends who bring you up, and help encourage you to choose joy in all circumsances. We pray that He would help you be patient, with yourself and with others, because you will fail others, and they will fail you. We pray that He would help you would be good to other people; your teachers, classmates, and administation; that you would treat them as you would want to be treated, and you would respect others' thoughts and opinions; there will definitely be ones that are different from yours. We pray that He will help you have self-control. That you would think before speaking or acting unkindly. That you would remember that it doesn't matter what someone looks like, or believes in, or what people wear. Remember that God created us each unique. It makes the world so much better, knowing each unique personality, each unique look, each unique thought was specifically designed and purposed, and each person that is around you brings value to our world. 

I sit here tonight with a mix of emotion. It's always amazing to watch the boys my babies have become. I love watching you grow and discover and experience and thrive in who you're meant to be. But there's that five minutes where my mind transports to the day you were born, and your years flash before my eyes. I get teary thinking about every kiss to your hurts, every funny face to make you laugh, every tear that fell from your face that I wiped away, every giggle you give....but I can't help but think how blessed the world gets to be now that you're growing up, and you get to be apart of it. May you forever be a light.

Love you forever.