Mary asked for just a few things on her birthday and one was a blog by me. She tells me often she loves to read my writing, so for that reason alone, I should pause more often to write (NOTE TO SELF!!!). When your child loves something you do and wants to read / hear what you have to say, it really should impact me daily!!! It has been so long since I have written (and really miss it), but must say I can’t think of a better reason to write. So here is for my beautiful daughter, with a love language of Words of Affirmation, thank you for serving a purpose! That is a BIG deal in our house. You cannot just exist, but must have a purpose in this house and outside this house. You must reach the potential that God (not mom/dad/world) has called you to reach. And you fill several amazing purposes for me (some serious and some a little lighter because I will be crying by the end uncontrollably if I don’t mix them).
We were told you would never exist… and they were wrong! We were told you would never survive the pregnancy… and they were wrong! We were told we would be “lucky” to make it 25 weeks… and you made it 36 weeks – we proved them wrong. I loved you before you existed, you are the child I prayed for (I Samuel 1:27). We knew early you would be someone extra special… and you are! (and the tears have already started… if I don’t get it together, this blog may never get done)…
Oh the purposes you serve…
You are an amazing sister and that point can never be emphasized enough. It is truly amazing to watch the love, compassion, and understanding you have for the little guy in our family. As a parent, I use to worry what would happen if something happened to me… and I know without a doubt, you would be sure Sam would be just fine. No matter where you are in your life, I know without a doubt, you would drop everything for him. I pity the poor girls he ever tries to date, because I am the least of their worries! I pity the guys you date because if they don’t pass the “Sam test” there will never be another date – lol! I know it isn’t always easy being the big sister, but you make it seamless. We are so blessed to have you for Sam, after all, he is your favorite person!!!
A listening ear… for my lame jokes and bad humor would fall on deaf ears. It is crucial to have another female in this house, with a little less selective hearing (lol). Jokes about math (I don’t want to be square, I want to be round). It is a little scary that my adult humor jokes cause you to also giggle. I remember the first time that happened, and it was a quick reminder that you were growing up. It was also a chance to remind me that much of your “education” was from other kids in public school. Now that we are together almost 24/7, you get to listen to me rant about serious stuff too, which gives us some great conversations about life.
A clone of me… now that is scary. What a humbling moment as a mom to see how much our child wlks in your footprints. Unfortunately, some footprints are best washed away. The area of procrastination has been a struggle all of my life. However, when you started to say “but that’s what you do mom!” was the moment my footprints had to change. You have challenged me to procrastinate less because I don’t want my bad habits to become yours. So we work on it together, and have both grown as a result. You now have a color coded calendar (= We are clones in other ways, and when the exact same words come out of our mouths at the same time; we are both a little frightened. Thank you for being a mirror for my life, and the things I need to work on, and also for the things I am doing right.
I love how our arguments have turned into conversations. I remember the arguments before school started and how it impacted both of our days. I remember the moment when I realized, that we were no longer starting days like that and just accepting the natural consequences for our decision. I know I have pushed in school, at times harder than I should. I have disagreed with your choices, at times more than I should. I am so thankful, that disagreements are rare, and they have been replaced with conversations. We both can be the devil’s advocate in the situation, but walk away respecting the other persons view! You should run for President of the U.S. someday and I will be your V.P. – this country would have many of it’s problems solved based on the conversations we have about everything. Plus, both of our detest for drama, we could eliminate/ignore half the nonensce… (you can run when you are 35 – so VOTE FOR MARY FOR PRESIDENT in 2034!) (p.s. thank you for detesting drama and not bringing it into our already crazy family!)
I remember many of the “discussions” where I felt like I wasn’t heard. The “discussions” that you were convinced I was wrong. The “discussions” over things that I had no control over (dance hair!), but took the heat for. The “discussions” over that I was too strict. The “discussions” over politics, sex, drugs, marriage, dating, etc (because I think we have talked about it all), that ended in silence because we both wanted to win. I love that little things that I have said along the way, are now coming full circle. I love that I am not the “alien” I once was in your life. I love hearing you talk about how one day you want a lot of kids (ps that can wait for several years – we have had that discussion too), and that you will be more strict than me (and won’t let them come and visit because I am too laid back). I will truly admit, I love hearing that I am / I was right. As a mom, it is truly music to my ears to hear all those little lessons sunk in. It isn’t just about me being right, but that you are growing up and putting on mature eyes to face the world ahead (another big goal for parents that their children go forth prepared).
You purpose is to be a fearfully and wonderfully made and to know that full well (Psalms 139:10). I am so thankful to watch you change from needing to fit in to being willing to stand out. You have your own modest style (love the modesty!). You love your curly hair (yeah). You are great with not having to be in everything / anything. You have figured out where you are called to! You have learned to love the skin you are in. It use to drive me crazy how long it took for you to get ready (from the mom who is ready in 15 minutes or less). However, I am truly blessed to have a daughter who cares what she looks like when she walks out of the house. Blessed that you respect yourself and care enough about yourself to take the time (something I could learn more about from you). Blessed that you look awesome for you! Not for attention from the guys or for the praise of other girls. When a stranger in Target asks your help with makeup for their daughter, it is a sign ( = P.s thank you for your endless fashion tips about my selections!
You serve the purpose of having someone to cook for ( = You even help find the recipes you want to try – chicken 101 different ways, and tacos always the same! If I were left with just daddy (it would be frequent cereal – to avoid the powder – LOL!) and Sam (baby carrots and raw pasta). The great thing about your love for food and you, is that it will also slim down dating options. Any guy who thinks McDonalds will do when, dad takes you for steak, will have to step it up a little – LOL!!! (strategic planning on our part)
Your purpose of entertainment is daily. You provide constant entertainment in the car from singing to talking. You can break into a song at any given movement. Dance like no one is watching. Your skits with Sam from movies are endless. I love that you want me to entertain you ( = I remember a day where separate rooms is how we spent time as a family. Now you want me to sit with you while you do school. You love the movie choices of your father and stay in the living room just to enjoy a great 80s/90s movie (lol). I love our rule about entertainment that everything you can watch, but a conversation will occur if needed. (I think your dad is a little more nervous about the conversations from the 80/90s movies – lol). Your interactions with Sam also make me smile (even the “I’m going to lick your face” heard for the millionth time!). Thank you for making our home full of life!
You want me to be involved in your life. Not just watching from the sidelines. Not as a friend, but as your mom. You want to talk about your day, your grades, your future, your fears, etc with me. You want me to sit with you while you work. We have become a great office pair. I love hearing about your political views (many from our debates, but you being strong enough to form your own opinion). One of the hardest thing as a mom is to sit back and let you learn lessons the hard way. However, nagging doesn’t always/ever work, because it isn’t what you want to hear. Over the last school year, I have watched you learn from mistakes (ouch- some of them hurt), take ownership for communication, organize a school planner (another big footprint of mine, but at least a good one). All the while, I got to hear the positive and change without being the nagging voice in the background. Thank you for teaching me to step back and let you grow. I don’t need to give constant sermons because all of these years my voice is already planted. Now, you just want the reassurance.
Your purpose of being a respectful person is priceless!!! As a parent, one of your biggest prayers is that your child will be respectful inside and outside of the home. (You know my rule is I don’t care what you act like at home, just so you are respectful outside the home – LOL). But seriously, your heart for service has very strong roots. You love to serve the community with your dad and the fire department. You love to raise funds/awareness for missionaries (and even give up food!). When you were in public school, the teachers sang your praise. Many 16 year olds are worried about their driving permit and your heart is in joining the Fire Department! When I picked you up from a friend’s home and the parents thanked me for letting you come (You are such a delight they said!). I am especially grateful for the last few months where you served our family without grumbling (shoveling snow and then rocks – with a smile on your face and some really goofy songs about mine turtles!! – that would not have always been the case). Thank you for being willing to give back to society instead of expecting it to give you something in return. Thank you for conversations about world problems, and the broken system. You help me look at life differently. Thank you for wanting to be part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem or part of the world that just doesn’t care.
I am so thankful we chose Mary Faith for your name. Every day you are a gentle reminder that my mom, Mary, came to Heaven first just to pick you out just for us. She chose perfectly! She would be so proud to have you carry on her name! I pray that I have more time on earth with you than I did with her. Her voice is a constant guide in my life (and a small yell when I mess up – lol). I pray that my voice (all the good stuff) is a guide for yours as well. You make me proud! No matter where you go, what you choose, who you love… my love is unconditional, no strings attached. My mom was an amazing mom, and I just pray that I am a portion of that mom to you. Thank you for being you, for with you as a daughter, being a mom is awesome!
p.s. I apologize for grammatical errors but if I reread this one more time my makeup (I am wearing in honor of your day) will run ( = I LOOOOOOOOVE YOU!!!