6 years ago, on Mother’s Day, I walked out of a hospital with my newborn daughter in my arms. What a joy to become a mother on Mother’s Day! For as much as I’ve learned about parenting since then, my daughter has taught me just as much about life.
Tomorrow my baby girl turns 6. Everyone tells you how fast the years will fly by, but it’s hard to believe when you’re consumed in a never-ending cycle of diapers, sleepless nights, nursing, chasing toddlers, potty-training. Then, all of a sudden, you have a daughter finishing kindergarten and blossoming into a young girl before your eyes.
Five life lessons I’ve learned from my daughter:
1) I need to tap into my extrovert side more often. It’s been a challenge at times for this introvert to relate to my little extrovert, who is different from me in so many ways. She challenges me, though, to step out of my comfort zone, to attend events I wouldn’t normally attend, to dance and sing (at least at home) with abandon and to just enjoy watching her perform.
2) God made us each as unique individuals. Even though she’s my daughter, she’s not me. She has her own style, personality and talents that are uniquely gifted to her. It’s a learning process to identify what makes us special and live into that uniqueness. Often that learning process comes with hurt, rejection and failure as we learn who we are and who we are not. As much as I want to, I can’t protect her from all of that.
3) A hug is worth a thousand words. I don’t think I really understood the power of a hug until I became a mom. But the touch and the love that is embodied in that hug say so much more than any words. A hug can say, “I love you”, “It’s going to be okay”, “I’m here for you”, “We’ll get through this together”, “I’m proud of you”. I’ve never been a touchy-feely person, but getting hugs from my kids is the best part of my day!
4) A few eggshells in the pancakes are okay. We will all make mistakes and those are important in the learning process. I need to set aside my perfectionist tendencies and allow space to make mistakes without fear. To mess up cracking eggs for pancakes, to fall as she learns to ride her bike, to dress herself in mis-matched clothes, to go through a stack of paper trying to perfect a drawing.
5) Prayers do get answered. We struggled for a long time to start a family and this sweet girl was our miracle baby. So many prayers over so many years. What a reminder that we just have to keep praying, truly believe in the prayers we say and trust that God does answer prayers.
Happy 6th birthday, sweet girl!
Linking with: Wednesday Prayer Girls