It amazes me that you are already six months old, you’ve become so much a part of our lives that I can hardly imagine my life without you, or remember how I got through the day before you were born.

How did I not get more accomplished then? Sure, it can be stressful at times, but I get nearly as much done now as I did then, yet I spend hours upon hours playing with you every day. I’ve been blessed with the best of both worlds.

gem - sunglasses

You’ve had an amazing effect on my concept of time. I was once so focused on learning from my past, and preparing for my future, that I completely overlooked the present. The present was merely segue.

You gave me the gift of now.

From the moment of your birth – and I can’t imagine being any more engaged in the present than that experience – you have, time and time again, brought me back to right now. Not just daily, but hour by hour. A glance, a new skill, a smile, the sweet sound of your voice cooing and babbling pull me back into the here and now. And when I’m with you, the here and now is a beautiful place to be.

You are so smart and beautiful, but in a much more important way than the world considers. You are intelligent because you are curious. You explore the living room from corner to corner, you examine every inch of your toys. You are very aware of what’s going on around you, listening to conversations while studying our facial expressions. You study every face you see. These are the things that make you smart. Intelligence is not static. Intelligence is not something you are born with, it is the result of your actions. Intelligence is the thirst for knowledge, and the practice of putting it to use. And you, my darling daughter, you are already exhibiting great intelligence.

Dear Gem - Month 6

You are as beautiful as you are smart, and you are beautiful in ways that are much more important than what the world says as well. It’s not about your rosy cheeks, or the curl of your impossibly long eyelashes, or your perfect rosebud mouth. Your beauty is about your genuine smile. Your smile lights up your eyes, your face, and the entire room. Your smile lights smiles on the faces of strangers. Your beauty is in the way you behave, you reach out and place your palm on my cheek when I’m talking to you, the sweet, gentle tones in your voice. You are genuine and sweet, and that is lovely.

Dear Gem - Month 6

Your intelligence and your beauty are both qualities within your control. The more you seek knowledge, the more intelligent you will be. The more genuine and kind your interactions with others, the more beautiful you will be.

You may question me on this statement, particularly on the topic of beauty. But someday you will meet someone who is bitter and embraces cruel ideology, and then you will understand what ugly is. Your actions and attitude are far more likely to leave an indelible impression in someone’s mind than the color of your eyes, or the designer of your skirt.

I have so much more I want to say to you at the moment. I want to talk about all your accomplishments this month and how much you have learned. But this letter has already grown much too long, so I will continue with more in a couple days.

thank you for brightening up my life

I love you


Read more Letters to Gem.

Judy Schwartz Haley


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