August 7, 2016
Dear Baby Girl,
I know you’re not a baby anymore, but you’ll always be my baby and that’s why this night feels like such a giant, hugely important night.
It’s Sunday. Tomorrow morning your dad and I will drive you to your new school where you’ll have your very first day of school. Kindergarten.
Today I’m exceptionally grateful that co-ops exist and that I get to be one of your teachers for half of the week. I know you’d thrive going to school five days a week, but I’m not quite ready to let you go.
I’ve coped through the shock of dropping you off at a building with strangers I had only met once already. And, I’ve coped through the shock of watching you pick out your own clothes, declare how you would like to spend your day, speak up for yourself and walk up to strangers with the goal of making a new friend. Yes… you are no longer a baby.
But tomorrow you’ll walk into a brand new building and hug your brand new teacher and say hi to all of your brand new friends and August 8, 2016 will always mark your first official day of school in the traditional sense.
And tomorrow is extra significant for us because when we watch you hang up your backpack and walk to your desk and take in all of your new surroundings with wide eyes we’ll walk away from you with that scene weaved in with all the rest.
Six years ago, on June 6, 2010, I wrote this in a letter to you:
Today I woke up sad and overwhelmed. Working so much on the baby room has me terrified that you won’t come home with us. I sent out this text to friends and family:
This wknd has been a little emotionally overwhelming getting the baby room ready. Just fearful things won’t work out. Will you pray for us? For peace and clarity and freedom to be joy-filled.
I went to bed late and it was then that I realized I felt all of those things. Prayer is a powerful thing. I hope you always know that.
And from a letter written just a few days later:
We’ve settled on your name. Charlotte. I think. It’s hard to give you a name. It makes us even more attached to you. And, you’re 4 hours away in someone else’s womb. This is not easy for us.
Beth wrote in an email today that us not hearing back from K is just more proof that we are not in control. She reminded me that K isn’t either. God is.
I needed this reminder and am grateful that God shows his face just when I need it most. It’s subtle though, you know? You really gotta be present so as not to miss it.
Thinking of you every minute,
The following day:
Exciting news! The agency called today and said that K had called to see if I’d like to come up Tuesday and go to her doctor’s appointment with her. She said that they will be doing an ultrasound. I about jumped out of my skin with excitement. I cannot wait.
After the ultrasound I wrote you a lengthy letter that started off with this:
I tend to over-think things. Like this little post I’m writing now. I want to write something amazing and eloquent so that you’ll know exactly what it was like for me when I saw your sweet face for the first time, but I can’t do it.
And rounded out with this:
I just want so much for you to know how very much you are loved. You are perfectly and wonderfully made. God has big plans for you. We do, too. We know you are going to change the world for the better. You already have.
July 15, 2010
It's 4:45 a.m. on your birthday. I can't believe we get to see your sweet face in only a few hours! I feel overwhelmed with joy & excitement & nerves! I'm already crying ...
Your daddy is shaving. He's very ready to nestle you into his cheek.
July 21, 2010
It’s 5:11 pm and finally it’s just you and me. I’m sitting here typing, while you’re sleeping soundly next to me, taking up about 10” of the couch. You are so small and perfect, just beautiful in every way. I knew I wanted to be a mom, I knew I wanted you, but I did not know I could ever feel this in-love with something so small. You are the sweetest thing I have ever laid my eyes on. Thank you for allowing us to experience love like we never have before.
And, this is why so many mommas cry when they drop off their babies on their first day of school. You see significant moments like that aren't standalone memories. They get rolled in with the days waiting for you to be born and every other big moment in-between. Our hearts remember everything and that's why we cry.
So listen, I need you to know that I’m incredibly proud of you. You are my wildfire and I have no doubt in due time you’re going to set this world on fire. You are His. And, I am grateful that I don’t have to live in fear on your behalf. I get to play a part, but I’m not responsible for your success or your failures, which means you and I get to have fun this year. FUN. Yes, this year may be a complete and utter hot mess, an idea that proved to be a bad one, a failed experiment, but at least we’ll be navigating those grace-filled waters together.
This year I commit to the following:
- To get up every morning and take every rushing anxious thought and give it back to God and in exchange ask him what deserves my attention.
- To pay more attention to you, the learner, than the material we need to cover.
- To work diligently to be creative with lessons so that you learn without realizing you’re learning.
- To shift into being more of a lover of mornings, than late nights.
- To never lose sight of the fact that even on my motherhood-is-so-hard-martyr days that growing up in an adult world is even harder.
- To feed you wholesome meals so that you can operate – physically and mentally – at your best.
- To remind you every day that the God of the Universe loves you.
- To remain patient with you always.
- To fail at all of the above over and over again.
I can promise you though that I won’t hold you to a standard of perfection and I won’t hold myself to one either.
You and me... we're a team and I'm exceptionally aware tonight of the fact that I won't get to say that forever. These days are flying by... Look at you! You’re a Kindergartner!
I'm so proud you're mine,