It was Hadley’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and since then I’ve been meaning to come and attempt to reflect, but alas, lamaze classes, Christmas parties, exhaustion and the like filled our time since then and these thoughts bouncing around in my head have gone unwritten. I attempted to start a scrapbook of Hadley’s life right after she was born, but I got 6 weeks in and haven’t gone back, so I’m thinking I need to at least keep better notes on here until I become one of those SuperMoms who writes down every milestone.
I can’t believe you’re four years old.
We’ve had a big year – a marriage, a Dad, a move, a baby on the way…Not only have you handled it all with grace, it’s been with complete excitement. You’ve taught me a lot about embracing change and the sweet, surrendered trust that comes with that.
Suddenly you’re this little girl, telling all-out stories and imitating my every word and action (desirable and undesirable). You live in pink and princess dresses and have recently discovered twirling around in them. You turn your nose up at anything that’s “for boys” and actually like wearing tights. (It’s totally foreign to me.) You could play “sisters” all day, every day. That, and eat chocolate. You loved our puppy the first day we brought her home, and now you love her from a distance. You are so sweet and in love with our kittens, though, and can’t wait to run out ahead of me to greet them. You are a complete extravert, and come to life the moment anyone new enters the scene. Unless they’re new friends and you feel shy…then it takes about 5 minutes. You are constantly observing and learning new phrases that we often don’t understand – like what exactly does it mean when you’re shaking your bones out?? You love school, but mostly you love it with me – we tried ECFE this fall and the highlight was Mommy/Hadley playtime. You practically ignored the other kids until I challenged you to make a friend. We occasionally do school together at home and you wish it could be every day. You love to learn and are so quick to grasp things – this year you shocked your dad and I when you wrote your name without our prompting.
You are constantly singing. You never stop. And as I type this, you are upstairs singing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” at the top of your lungs. You love dance parties, and have had a “wiggle dance” at every phase of your life so far.
You have practiced being a mom ever since discovering “Millie” (that poor-used-to-be-pink Care Bear that I carried around when I was four) and you’re going to be the most wonderful big sister. Your new love is the doll you received for your birthday, now named Sarah. I often have to remind you that you are not the Mom, and I pray that your heart will learn the beauty of authority at this young age so you can walk in the freedom of God’s loving protection. Your independence is a gift and a curse, passed down through generations of our family’s women, and I pray God will foster in us both a gentle and quiet spirit that trusts in Him.
You teach me so much about God and myself as you expose my sinful, selfish heart, and as I realize how deeply I love you, yet how imperfectly. Praise God that He is a perfect Father who covers all of my parental shortcomings. I pray that, somehow, you will see his heart in mine and you will be drawn closer to him through that. Your dad and I pray that you will love Jesus with your whole heart – that you will trust in him alone to make you “good” – that you will have a life of joy no matter what the circumstances because your hope is in him alone. You remind us constantly of child-like faith and anticipation with thoughts such as, “I can’t wait to get to Heaven and give God a big hug!”
You are a beautiful blessing from God and you fill my heart with joy; I am so thankful for the precious gift of your life. And I am awed and endlessly grateful that God would entrust you to me.
Even though your birthday has come and gone: happy birthday, my little one.
Despite what you say, you are still my baby.