Letters to Eleanor: Love your people well (extraordinary gestures not required)

If this morning is any indication, us Walden girls need little more than a lighthearted state of mind and some goofy seasonal merch to ham it up. Pun very much intended, this pic, post spin class for me, looking elegant and un-sweaty as ever (ha!) “cracks” me up.

What a fun hour, and not because of a single dollar we spent.

It was just a last-minute decision. We hadn’t “strolled the Lane” in forever and a day and we had some down time before our favorite redhead’s hockey game.

My mama cup runneth over because we talked – about school, and music, and friends, and some new-fangled hair curlers that sound way better than the Conair roll and pin set from my own teenage years.

And how cool it is that even in the midst of these awkward teenager years, your friends feel at ease in our home, and that they know they belong every time they walk through our door.

And because when you said you wanted to paint blue jeans with me a la an idea you saw on Pinterest (I think?), and I suggested we do it as a Galentine’s party with your friends, you looked at me and said, “No mama, I’d rather do it just with you.”

And because we know each other so well, and it made browsing the aisles an effortless, enjoyable breeze.

No sooner had I stopped to peruse a blouse or scarf or necklace before you’d chime in with “I knew you’d love that.” Granted, my record of picking up things you might like isn’t quite as good as yours is with me, but that’s life with a teenager for ya – constantly humbling us moms even in the most self-assured “I’m so good at this” moments that yes, we (very occasionally) allow ourselves to feel.

You love your people so well, precious child. Whether it’s the other three-fourths of our Walden Walnuts, your besties or a new-to-you friend who is trying to figure it all out, too. It’s a quality I cherish in you.

Keep taking the time to listen to and learn about others. Keep finding little ways to be thoughtful, and to make people feel seen, acknowledged, understood, and accepted, flaws and all.

I will leave you with these words shared from a family friend of ours, who absolutely made my day when she texted me with her heart thoughts yesterday. If I pass nothing else onto you, I hope it is this, and that you continue to pour this kind of love out into the world every chance you get:

So I was just thinking of you this morning and being thankful for who are and how God “fearfully and wonderfully made you”. You are a blessing, encouragement, and a light to people around you, and I hope and pray your bucket is filled to overflowing with that same energy, peace, love, and kindness for yourself that you graciously extend to others. 

I love you, Ella Belles!

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