Wednesday, April 4, 2018

.halle turns 11.

Today, on her eleventh birthday, Halle declared that she didn't want to get any older...just stay this age forever. When asked if she didn't look forward to driving in five years, or becoming a teenager in two, her response was, "nope." As her mother, I must confess, I'm totally cool with that too. 

But as each years passes, I am increasingly aware of time's speed, and solely ascending direction. Her "nope," doesn't stand a chance. Mine doesn't either. And so we look forward, half dreading the growth, the uncharted territory...the further loss of the little; but there is also anticipation. There are new milestones, new much to learn and experience. I know that she feels it too. 

One thing the girls absolutely love is watching old videos from when they were itty bitty. They think it's hilarious and adorable, and I just weep :( There is one video in particular when Hal is about 15 months old. We are sitting on towels in the backyard, hanging out in the sunshine. She's wearing a cute floral swimsuit, and attempting to drink out of a big girl cup, water everywhere. Her little high pitched voice is chattering away and her precious bottom is plump with a wet diaper. I remember it so sharply, which is crazy, because so much of those early years is a blur. It was one of those moments where you are acutely aware of the sweetness and goodness of this mom life. I watched this video and just felt wrecked that my precious squish of a toddler was gone. I miss her, and yet I still have her. So strange. 

And so I begin this next year of my motherhood journey determined. Determined to notice and soak in the sweetness of my 11 year old. To relish the fact that she wants to go shopping with me and hold my hand in the mall. To watch as she tenderly plays with and loves on younger kids - she is so good with them. To hear her thoughts about friends and school...and the increasing feelings and emotions attached to these things. I will savor those moments when she plays with her sisters...right down at their level. I want to listen to her vent about those same sisters, and how she's "too old" to play playmobil with them all the time. I will sneak glances at her reading on the dog bed in the corner of her room. I will smile as she does the flossing dance with all the energy in the world. I will teach her the basics of makeup - how to not "over-rub" your lips together so that the tint of your lip gloss gives you a moustache. I will still hold her when she cries and check on her again in 15 minutes. I will even try and be good with the incessant requests for a phone, and expressions of displeasure with piano practice. 

Because I know that now will become then. So fast. And one day I will have a 21 year old daughter, and wish that just for a moment I could scoop up the eleven year old version of that girl and plant kisses all over her face, while she laughs her head off.
Halle Ruth - I love being your mom. So very much. I loved you then, I love you now, I'll love you always :)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

.maya turns nine.

How it's possible that she's nine, and entering the twilight of her elementary years is beyond me. She can take a boiling pot carefully and masterfully off the stove. Her ability to spell has eclipsed both of her sisters, and is close to par with mine (oh the glory of my spelling test years). Though, if she had her way, I would still snuggle and sing her to sleep each night, rubbing lotion on her dry knuckles.
She has had her heart bruised this year with playground dynamics; but she also experienced the joy of seeing her besties waiting for her at church this morning, faces smooshed against the glass, waiting to gift their birthday girl with a paper sack of candy. At school, last month, they had a lockdown drill and for the first time I know she felt the evil and the severity of what they were practicing for. She emotionally recounted to me that they weren't allowed to open the door for anyone once the order was issued - even if one of her friends was screaming at the door. She wasn't allowed to help them. I hate that she knows this. But she also knows the pure lightness of dancing with her dad and sisters upstairs (which they are doing this very some of Steve's secret favorite pop tunes). Laughter and the occasional snort ring from the room. Her spirit is so thoughtful...too thoughtful sometimes; she is often the first to ask me if something is wrong. She longs for connection and activity. Like her Dad, she is not one to sit still for any length of time. School comes easily to her, patience with her sisters isn't as swift. She is following in my footsteps, loving order and cleanliness - everything as it should be. I know the downside to this all too well, and I pray that she will learn early when to let things go; how to grab a moment by it's horns and clean the floors later. I want to model this for her better. I am so thankful for our incredible  community; our friends and family that show her this continually. A village is a great place to grow up in.
One moment that I want to mark happened last fall when our family was in Hawaii. If you remember last year's post, Maya had been quite sick and hospitalized just before her birthday. The tickets to Hawaii were booked the week before, and I remember sitting beside her bed holding her little hand, terrified at the thought that she might not be on that trip with us. It was the most fear I have ever felt. Fast forward to November, all five of us walking on Waikiki Beach. I was holding the very same little hand, only this time the body attached to it was skipping, dancing between the finest grains of sand and the warmest ocean water those toes had ever touched. And it just washed over me like something physical. That moment of fear in contrast to the moment we were in now. She was here. She was with us. If moments can be perfect, that was one of them. 
One of the songs I sing before bed for Maya is, "God is so Good." It's a simple old tune and I made up an extra verse when the girls were little. It sums things up pretty well on my baby's birthday.

God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He's so good to me.
He gave me you, He gave me you, He gave me you, He's so good to me.

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