I love parenting. Which is good because my husband and I have 4 daughters. Three teenagers and a toddler. Yes, we’re one of those families that got blessed with a surprise baby. Our Journey Joy came nearly 9 years after our ‘last.’ She was gifted to us from the Lord at the, seemingly, most inconvenient time of our life but at exactly the time I needed her most. Jesus knows that way.
All 17 1/2 years of parenthood, but especially the last 4 years, have been a wild ride – navigating elementary and middle school years at the same time as infancy and, most recently, middle school and high school years at the same time as toddlerhood. But now. Now, I have a graduate. And an almost four-year-old. In just one week, we will be celebrating the end of my oldest daughter’s primary school years. And today is the birthday party celebrating the toddler’s upcoming birthday (that’s the 27th). It’s a little weird but a lotta lovely.
Within just three short weeks, I’m celebrating turning 38 (really, I celebrate age – the alternative is a b… well, you know), watching my baby turn 4 (which means preschool in the fall, *insert sad sigh*) and giving my oldest her wings (what the he** just happened?). And now Mother’s Day is coming up… Lord have mercy, I think I’m turning to mush. I think the older I get, the older my kids get, the more I realize life is moving way. too. fast.
So, bear with me as I get a little sappy and write a little open note- not just to my baby and my oldest but to each of my girls…
To my firstborn, Jaci: You truly live up to the meaning of your name – “maker of beautiful things” – you bring color and beauty to the world around you. I’m proud of your courage to hold fast to who you are and what you believe in and stand for. I’ll try not to cry too much when I leave you in California this summer.
To my first middlest, Chandler: Even though in the past you could melt into a crowd, you have never been overlooked. I remember more details of your early life than the other girls’… I think that’s because I slowed down a bit. Your wit, humor and creativity and your budding extroverted personality melts my heart. I’m so proud of your strength as you walked through some tough stuff this past year. I’ll try not to cry too much when I look at how you’ve matured over the last year.
To my first baby, Robin: You gladly gave up your ‘baby’ status when you wrote that happy song after we told you you were going to be a big sister. Your headstrong, aggressive personality has shaped you into a determined and beautiful young woman. I’m so proud of you stepping into new things this year. I’ll try not to cry too much when I watch you, someday, win an award for your amazing Adele-ish voice.
To my baby, Journey: You have been the best. surprise. ever! Jesus knows I love surprises and raising you to this point has been such a journey of joy. I love your fireball passion and that you are in love with your daddy and “your girls”. I’ll try not to cry too much when you run off to preschool.
Hashtag: parentingislife For reals.