This is the first letter in a series called “Letters to our Daughters”. We’ll be doing a letter each month for our daughters, published on the 10th of the month. Thank you for reading and please visit Carla’s Blog to read her letter to her daughter, Cecilia.

Dear Sarah,

I love you. I don’t say that enough.

You are lucky to be the first born because (according to your siblings) you get to do everything first, you get to stay up the latest, you get the most allowance…. Do I need to go on? But you’re also stuck being the one who has to babysit, you’re the one who is trusted as being the most responsible to handle chores, and I end up expecting a lot out of you.

Sometimes life gets pretty chaotic around here and you end up seeing the brunt of my exhaustion. All too often, I get that look on my face. You know that look: the one that makes you shrink a little. The one that says, “Why did you do THAT?” The one that’s usually followed by a really heavy sigh from me.

And then you get that other look on YOUR face: the one that looks like you just lost your best friend. You look like a puppy who’s been kicked. It’s the same look I see when you know you’ve let me down; but Sarah, I’m the one who has failed you. I have failed you because I’ve let some little insignificant problem grow into something that matters. If you left the milk out all day, or if I tripped over your shoes in the hallway, or if you missed the bus – AGAIN – I lose my temper, and I’m ashamed to admit I say things like “Why can’t you just …” and “I am so tired of …”

Sarah, I could never be tired of you. Your smile is magical. You light up a room and you don’t even know it. You have such an amazing heart for Jesus and your family and friends. I’m constantly amazed at your thoughtfulness, your compassion, and your love. You make me proud to be your mama EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And I still don’t tell you enough.

I remember when you were younger and we’d have Girls’ Night every Friday night. We’d read together and watch movies and snuggle and have a sleepover in your bed. Then you got some younger siblings, and I got older, and so did you… and one day I realized it was Friday and we hadn’t done Girls’ Night in a really long time. I know you’re too old for that now but you’re not too old for me to give you my attention. No matter how old you get, you’ll never be too old for me to hug you, and listen to you, and be there for you.

So today I want to tell you, Sarah, you are wonderful. You are mine and I am yours. I promise I’ll try harder to remember that. I don’t just want you in my life, I need you. You make my life so much better and you make our family complete.