She was the reason I started this blog almost seven years ago. She gave me the name, mother.
She looked like this:
And I looked starry-eyed.
And while every newborn season is tough, each morning coming into her room was like Christmas morning. The long night, nursing woes, and new mommy inadequacies faded as I stared as this precious gift.
Seven years ago, this was you.
People told me how fast time would go and how quickly you would grow up.
And then, in a blink of an eye, just like they said, this was you one year later:
Tiny and petite, reserved, and my constant companion, but not for long. You were already gaining a new companion who was growing inside of me.
And just like that, in a blink of an eye, just like they said this was you:
2 years old and a big sister. In an instant you were no longer a baby, though looking back, you most certainly were. But you made the big sister role look easy. You loved Grant from the day he came home.
And just like they said, another year QUICKLY passed by and you were no longer a toddler.
We survived potty training and the "terrible twos" which weren't so terrible. And sailed into another beautiful year. Your personality began to reveal a much more outgoing side. You showed an eagerness to make new friends as the "social" you began to bloom.
And, just like that, just like they said, another year passes in a blink of an eye.
And you are four
and due to be a big sister a second time in a few weeks. You danced your way into the four's, literally. You had a ballerina party. And so began the "extra-curricular" activities stage of life. You began taking dance lessons. I believe you enjoyed the social aspect of it more than the actual dancing. You once told me you wanted to quit because Miss Anna made you raise your leg too high and it hurt.
And then, just like that, just like they said, in an instant, you were five.
And just like that, just like they said, in an instant, this was you:
6 years old. First grade. You'd stay outside all day if I let you. You're reading, but not enthusiastically. But you're teaching me about patience and repentance. And we cap the year off with you first lost tooth.
And just like that, just like they said, in a flash, this IS you:
7 years old today.
You are sweet. You are shy in large groups but outgoing in small ones. You enjoy making new friends. You can be dramatic and overly concerned about what to wear. Let's face it, you change outfits throughout the day. You are eager to help. You love your siblings but at times can be dramatic, did I already mention that? You thrive on affection and encouragement. It's like water to a listless vine. You love to give and that is something I am cautious not to squelch, even if it is something I would rather you not give away. You are becoming a more confident reader. You have a very quarky sense of humor and an infectious laugh. You are a nurturer.
They were right, you DO grow up so fast. It takes my breath away to know that as fast as the first seven years have passed, so shall the next seven years go. In seven years you will be fourteen.
It's a sweet reminder for me to slow down and drink you in. To gaze at you a little longer so that moment will stay stamped in my memory even if it passes on in time. It's a reminder for me to let go of the unimportant things that seem so pressing: email, Facebook, sweeping a hundredth time that day, or a mindless tv show. It's a reminder to be intentional and purposeful in what I say to you and what I teach you. For you are precious. You are worth every minute of my time at home. The Lord gave you to me and I am challenged daily to be a good steward of you because you ultimately belong to Him. And you will look back and see the many times I have failed you. There are times at night after a rough day I want to crawl into bed with you and hold you, to erase the failures I made that day with you. But I pray that through my failures you see the gospel. You see that I am not perfect and I am a sinner just like you. That I need Jesus DAILY and that His forgiveness covers a multitude of sin. I pray that at least in my failures, by His grace, I point you to Him. And I pray you will find refuge in Him.
I love you Hannah.
Happy Seventh Birthday!