The big day has come and gone. The day which a 13th birthday creeps up on you and you have to sit back for a moment wondering where your little girl has gone. And where the time has gone.
In my own mind I was sort of dreading this day - the day my little girl turns 13. At the same time, I am also very excited for what the future holds for her as well. I am anxious to see what she does with her life and the woman she will become.
She is my second and my last. I think the sadness settles in as I realize all that is left from the first 13 years are the memories...the photos...the random art projects and stories...the videos.
Everyone told me, "you have no idea how fast the time will pass by."
I didn't believe them. I do now.
They also said, "enjoy them while you can, for you cannot get back time that may have been lost."
That I get. I really and truly understand that. I am much better with quality time than I used to be. I am better at making the time than I used to be.
I try to enjoy every moment. Even when the kids are loud and crazy, I step aside and find the humor in what my kids are doing at that very moment. They are kids. (Of course, as long as it is acceptable and they aren't hurting anyone which usually isn't the case. Typically it is quite the opposite as they pick on each other.)
I really listen hard to what they are saying and what their voices sound like. I listen to their laugh. I don't want to forget. I love it when they laugh.
I thank my Heavenly Father each day for allowing me all the time he has blessed me with, and will continue to bless me with, when it comes to my children, and the time I have had/will have with them. I plead with Him to allow me many more years.
They have been through much, which they did not deserve, but they are better people for it. With that, I have a much greater sense of appreciation for my children. The little things don't get under my skin like they once did.
Put down the mop, turn off the TV, listen to what they are saying. Go to the park, have a picnic, have dinner dates with each child separately, Look at them when they speak to you. If you have little ones, get down to their level. I always tried to do that. I squatted down to their level so they could look me in the eye where I could see what they see and view things from their perspective.
My baby girl gave me "a warm fuzzy" back in 2006. A warm fuzzy is something done or said to someone that would make them feel good. On the flip side, a cold prickly is something done or said to someone that may hurt their feelings and make them feel sad. Both the kids learned about this during their kindergarten years and we warm fuzzy'd and cold prickly'd everything!
You can imagine my reaction when my little girl gave this to me. Yep, I cried. At that moment I felt like I had succeeded. Not in a way where my child thought I was the be-all and end-all but that she actually knew...she truly felt...that she is the reason I get up each morning. That she matters to me and I care about her, how she feels and her dreams. That her sadness is my sadness, her pain is my pain and her happiness is mine as well. I can have the absolutely worst day ever and all I need is to see one of my children, even from afar, and my frown is turned upside down. They are my calm in the middle of the storm. In fact, any time at all when I even have a glimpse of one of my kids a smile immediately appears.
I pray that my little girl is able to keep her carefree, positive attitude even though the big, bad world is out there stomping on everyone. I hope she is able to continue to love everyone without condition, no matter who they are, even though the world may try to jade her. I hope her laugh never changes, for it is the most awesome laugh I have ever heard. I adore her love of animals, her loyalty to her friends and the fact that she loves me in spite of all my flaws.
The evening after Christmas she, Eric and I were standing in the check-out line at Target. I noticed she had scribbled on her hand. Now, I don't condone writing on one's body but I do remember being a kid and the silly things I would do and writing on my hand was one of them. When I asked her to show me what she had written I found, "People I love: Mommy, Tanner, Eric, Auntie, kitty and kitty's brother." I love how her heart is so open. She may not say it out loud often but that she had listed Eric as someone she loves my heart rejoiced and the look I saw on Eric's face was priceless. How wonderful he felt.
I wish you all the wonderful things life has to offer.
That all your dreams come true.
That you stay true to yourself, always, and never succumb to pressure.
And that hopefully I have provided the wings, with enough wingspan, for which you can fly.
I love you with all my heart,