And just like that, she is 2. This daughter I was so surprised to get, this daughter I prayed I would some day have, is 2 years old. I am flabbergasted.
I wrote her a sappy little letter for her memory box so I won't get too sentimental here. Suffice it to say, this little human has taught me more in 2 years than I learned in almost 20 years of formal education. Among the most important:
- that God loves me. FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY I can comprehend that basic tenet of my faith. Because to give me her, to make me a mother to her, means He loves me bigger than I can dare imagine.
- that I am madly, completely, totally in love with her father. Sure, I have less hair because of him and he makes me cuss
a tonsome, but at the end of the day, parenting her, with him, makes me gaga in love with him. Becoming parents together has been unifying and edifying. Every day I love him more, as a husband and most certainly as a father.
- that I am valuable. I labored and gave birth to this person and even with that blessed epidural, believe it to be the most physically demanding thing I've ever accomplished. I am always surprised at my ability to teach her. Whether to say please and thank you or her colors or to say "It's a happy day!," I have the ability to birth and teach and educate a person.
- that I am teachable. Raising up toddler monsters requires changing the game plan every 30 seconds or so and most days, I find that I can adapt. Learning who she is, what she needs, how she learns and what makes her tick keeps me a student.
- that I am forgiveable. 9 days out of ten, I suck at parenting, at patience, at consistency, at being intentional. And ten days out of ten, she still wakes up and wants to see mama. All is forgiven (with the help of the ipad, of course.) She gives me grace each day and if her monster-ness can give grace, maybe I can FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY comprehend that God offers the same.
- that I am in control of nothing. nada. zilch. In the interest of full disclosure, I am still fighting this with everything I have, but am sloowly starting to realize that I don't have control. (I may be teachable but am also pretty slow.)
- that if I don't humble myself, she will do it for me. All mothers love when their kids are dressed well, coordinating hairbow in place and behaving like angels. All mothers also love to have 4 hour naptimes and a housekeeper/chef fairy godmother. Her job isn't to make me look good (excelling here, MK.) My job is to parent her with as much wisdom and grace and patience as possible in the face of her yelling "nooooo!!!" and throwing herself on the floor in her smocked dress.
- that I need, like oxygen, a relationship with Jesus and as I'm realizing through this period of bedrest, I need his mother. Trusting that as she parented the savior of the world, loved him, grieved for him, taught him, she is helping me do the same to my girl. Through time spent reflecting on her, I am closer to that little boy she bore. And I can't think of anything I need more whilst raising this little human than the wisdom and love of one who gave her to me.
|actual bday breakfast at our favorite place (who knew there was a girl cow?!) Mommy clearly thought girl cow was more adorable than MK did. She was fine from her seat and did eventually high five the cow but not before trying to run away.|
|If I had to give a top 5 of her "loves," a slide would definitely be on the list.|
|a few days before MK's bday. Had to include this pic of MK's bff because this is SOOOO them. Joy with the big idea to remove everything from the dresser and MK happy to abed their crime. Ross said it perfectly. Thelma and Louise.|
|Thelma and Louise wreaking less havoc|
|daddy took the day off to celebrate his 2 year old. The whole family together while mommy kisses MK's "baby."|
|this child LOVES LOVES a "ballooooon"|
|joint 4th of July/bday celebration. "Heny" helping open her presents. |
|After a rough weekend, I called the nurse and she asked how compliant I was being on bedrest. From this spot exactly, I told her I'd get back on track promptly. This is what bedrest looks like on your babe's 2nd birthday.|