Monday, February 11, 2013

The Front Nine and the Back Nine.

This is the part where I start feeling overwhelming emotion that makes me feel all happy and ridiculously sad at the same time. This is the part where I realize that 365 days are really over quickly, and added up, they turn into seconds and vanish like the morning fog. This is the part where I step back and gasp at how much has changed right in front of me and overnight, like the strange way dew appears in the grass and you never saw it until you step barefoot into the morning.

My daughter is nine years old today.

We celebrate birthdays in BIG fashion in our house. Like for days at a time. Like lots of cake. Like lots of gifts. And the "big" birthdays? Well, they get even MORE attention. The 1st, 5th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 18th are pretty significant ones, dontcha think? Entrances into new stages of childhood that should be praised and celebrated. However, last week, it hit me. The 9th is a pretty big one too.

We are exactly halfway.

Halfway between birth and adulthood. Oh, I know my job doesn't end in 108 more months. I'm 35 and I am still being parented. But reality is, in 108 more months, she will belong to the world. Not just to me and her daddy, her brother... To her destiny. Her own path. Her real-life world.

108 months down, and 108 more to go.

Sobering. And nauseating.

So much to teach her. And it's half over. So much she still has to learn. And tonight, I will be OVER half way to the threshold of her future. Halfway to her freedom.

Halfway to my nest being one less a baby bird.

We spent the morning with her, reminiscing with her and laughing about how far we've come-- the highs and lows of the front nine. We took her to breakfast, and I swear the whole time, she was cuddled to my side in our booth, her sweet daddy across the table from us- just the three of us, like we were today nine years ago. We would tell her a story about when she was 3. She'd say, "Tell me another one, guys." And we would.

My heart is full when I think of this girl, this answer to so many tearful prayers and so many wishful dreams. She was the light at the end of infertility's long dark tunnel. The first burst of fall's cold air on my exhausted face. And from her conception, she has been a delight. She was a delight to carry, a delight to deliver, and is a delight to raise. I praise the God of Heaven and Earth for her life. Because HER life brings definition to mine.

Will you allow me this trek through the last nine years? I can't put them all on here, for one- you'd fall asleep. But mainly because you wouldn't "get" it. Nor should you.

She is mine.

Dear Abi,

Here are some moments I have loved with you.

Nine years ago today, I found what I was born to do. When your cry filled the room, announcing your entrance, Heaven rejoiced like it never had before. That day, the world was changed. That day, you broke my heart and healed it all at the same time. That day, you showed me what I was created for. You have been a sheer treat to my soul from the moment I knew you were inside me. Every day being your mom is a dream I dreamed about for many years. And you've never one time been a disappointment to me. I carry your laugh with me through the day. And I count the minutes until I can kiss your cheek every time I drop you off at school. I search the freckles on the bridge of your nose and the speckled green in your eyes. I love the way your voice changes when you're telling me something funny and the way your song resonates through the house every waking minute of your day. I sigh with happiness when feeling you crawl into our bed in the early morning hours. I love your heart and how tender it is- how it breaks with love at a moment's notice. I love how you sing Zac Brown songs at the top of your lungs in the shower with lyrical precision. I love your pioneering spirit and how you're not content to blend in with your surroundings. I love how other kids are drawn to the light inside you. And how you make others feel valued and welcomed in your presence. I love your relationship with Jesus and how personally you know Him. I love how easily you take correction and discipline and how repentant your soul is when you've done wrong.

But mostly, I love that you are mine. I love that out of the billions of women on this planet, God fashioned ME to be your mom. That all the years of waiting led us to YOU.

Everything about you delights me. Everything about you matters to me. And everything about you is everything a mom could ask God for in a child. In fact, as He always does, He surpassed all I asked Him to let you be. You're so much more than I asked for.

And the back nine will be our greatest years so far. I know this because YOU are in them.

I love you,

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