Dear Sophianna,

Today you are three years old. It is almost impossible to imagine that three years ago we did not know you. We had no idea what an extraordinary person was about to enter our lives. Since then you have come to occupy such a big place in our world. You have discovered and learned so much in the first three years of your life.

Every time I look at you I am amazed at the miracle you are. In just thirty-six months you have gone from being a tiny helpless infant to a person who can speak in full sentences, can dress herself, feed herself, and do so many things all by herself. You can dance and sing and draw beautiful pictures. You can help with the cooking and “write” notes in your daytimer. No one has taught you any of these things. You just watched and practiced and picked up all these new skills on your own.

One of the sad things about growing up is that gradually we begin to forget how smart and capable we really are. We begin to think we can only learn when someone “teaches” us. We start to believe that we must always depend upon “experts” to tell us things that we don’t know. We grow to doubt our own wisdom and come to believe that we must always look somewhere else for the answers to hard questions and for guidance about how we should live.

As the years go by we forget that we came into this world with incredible resources, creativity and even wisdom. We were born with an ability to express ourselves, to know what we need in life and to find ways to make our lives work. But over time we start to lose confidence in our amazing natural abilities. We stop trusting in our capacity for life.

I hope you will always trust in your own inner wisdom and believe in your own resourcefulness. I hope you will always stay connected to the amazing strong, capable person you are today. One of your favourite things to say these days is, “I can do it myself.” I pray that no one will ever tell you those two deadly words – “You can’t.” If you hear those words, I hope you will refuse to listen until you have discovered for yourself whether or not you are trying something you can do without help.

Like every human being on this earth, you were created “in the image of God.” This means that there is something within you that is deeply connected to the creative force and power that brought all of life into existence and sustains life each day. You are filled with a power we call love. Love is the power that causes the plants to grow and the sun to shine. It is the power that brought your beautiful little sister into existence a year ago. Love is the force that causes you to grow and makes it possible for you to learn new things every day.

This power of love believes in your ability and in the wonderful capacity you have to create and to solve problems and to find new ways to navigate through life. This love is your guide. Love will always help you to find the right way. You only need to listen and pay attention to the deep voice that has taught you so much already and has brought you so far in the three years of life you have already lived.

You cannot imagine how much joy you bring to everyone around you. You do not have to work at being a blessing. You only need to be yourself. When you are yourself, the light of God shines beautifully through you and encourages us all to stay more deeply in touch with that image of God in which we share.

God bless you wee one.

love,

Grandpa