It wasn’t so long ago on a cold January afternoon that I remember my contractions starting, hopefully for real this time. I was equal parts terrified, relieved that my pregnancy would be over soon (can I get an amen?!), and ecstatic to meet my little alien who’d taken up residence for 9 months. I also remember feeling unqualified to be her mom and completely terrified I’d somehow break her. To be fair, I was only 25 at the time and hardly even knew what it meant to be an adult.
Fast forward 5 years and here I am still working on my adulting game. Most days I feel unworthy but unbelievably blessed God chose me to be this precious girl’s mama. She is sweet, generous, thoughtful, loving, unbelievably sentimental for her age (she get it from her mama!), energetic, creative, goofy, sensitive and kind. She literally sparkles. Past teachers have called her their little sunshine girl because she shines so bright each day. I’m just over here trying to soak up all of the incredible characteristics she emits because most days she’s the one teaching me.
On her fourth birthday week I spent most of it crying. I couldn’t believe she was growing up so fast. I wondered how she’d look back on the way we spent our time together. Would she remember the good stuff from her early childhood or a mom who was usually a little too impatient or busy?
I don’t know about you, but I pray to Jesus almost every day for grace in my motherhood. I ask that my children would remember hours spent at playdates, reading books and our Bibles before bed, running races in the backyard, sword fights with their dad, endless hours of painting and building legos, snuggles on the sofa and all the family that just loves her so fiercely; not my yelling to hurry up so we can go, or when the bedtime routine lags past mama’s patience.
A few days ago I was given a gift. The gift of more time with our girl. I’m tearing up just thinking about it because I know it is an answer to my prayers. I’ve spent the last year an anxious mess at the thought of sending our girl into the vast unknown of elementary school. Perhaps it’s harder with your first but the thought of it has just weighed so heavily on me for a year straight. I definitely haven’t been ready and was unsure of whether she was truly “ready” for kindergarten. Last week my husband and I walked into our parent teacher conference hand in hand eagerly anticipating her teachers’ recommendation for next year. And it wasn’t what we thought. It was a year of Transitional Kindergarten (aka TK). Now that I’ve had a few days to process I’m more and more realizing God had been preparing my heart to keep her home.
One More Year. One more year to play at home with her brother, one more year of early childhood, one more year to explore her interests without the constraints of a more draining school schedule, and one more year to grow into who she is meant to be.
You see I feel I’ve been given a tremendous gift. The gift of time. A massive do-over. Too many times have I said 5 more minutes that turned into 45 because there is always one more chore or work item to check off the list. This will be the year of intention. The year to build more memories that shape her and that we can both cherish for a lifetime.
Avery means “wise leader”. Elizabeth means “Gift from God”. I can’t imagine a better way to sum up our precious girl.
But I have trusted in your faithful love;
my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord
because he has treated me generously.
With love and peace,