I spent all day today being thankful for one very special blessing: my daughter, Sophie. Today was her 8th birthday and we spent the day playing hooky from church and AWANA. With bellies full of birthday breakfast, we loaded the car & headed to the beach to meet friends. We swam in the ocean, buried kids in the sand, grilled hot dogs, ate brownies, & watched a sea turtle. We spent a day soaking in the sun’s rays and the gift of friendship. It was absolutely glorious…a perfect way to spend a day.
In the back of my mind I couldn’t stop thinking about how quickly these last 8 years have gone by. I remember the way that I felt when I found out that I was pregnant for the 3rd time. I remember the way James blurted out,”oh my gosh….it’s a girl!” in the delivery room and how I burst into tears because I hadn’t realized until that very moment how very badly I wanted a daughter. I remember her first belly laugh, the way she snuggled her silky “babies” by her cheek as she slept, and how, at 3 years old, she refused to leave the house without her green silk tutu, purple fairy wings, & purple headband–worn like a sweatband across her forehead as though she were channeling her inner Pat Benatar. (I wonder if I still have those fairy wings in a box somewhere..)
I stood there admiring her while I was watching her siblings and friends pile a mound of sand onto her legs and shape it into a mermaid tail. She’s truly the most remarkable little lady. She’s probably the most generous, kind-hearted, and least selfish child I’ve ever known. She’s sensitive, smart, loving, dramatic, brave, curious, and compassionate. She dances and sings and does handstands on the beach and she doesn’t care who’s watching. She’s more of an encourager than a critic. More empathetic than judgmental. She wakes up every morning with a smile on her face and joy in her heart. In so many ways, she’s exactly the kind of lady I want to be when I grow up…
I listened to the lull of the water behind me and my eyes wandered to my other 3 children. I inhaled deep breaths of salty air and looked each of them over–long and hard–noticing how much they’ve changed and how quickly they’re growing up. I began counting all the ways each of them have blessed my life since the day they were born and thanking the Lord for the priceless gift of Motherhood. Every day may not be quite as perfect as today, but I’m grateful that today we had a perfect reason to celebrate.