My sweet (growing so fast) girls, remember those 10 things we talked about years ago? Well with school starting, and the busyness of the season upon us, I feel that we need to talk about them again. They change a tad as you change, of course. I know that you won't always want or welcome my advice, so I will try to refrain from constantly blurting out my opinions as you continue to grow.
I said I'll TRY, I can't promise anything.
We are always ready for school by the time it rolls around, but I think for every mom it's hard in that where-have-my-babies-gone kind of way. For me it's never about you being a year older, it's about how you change with each leap. The changing is the hardest for me. Your'e older, and different, and growing outside the little walls I've built around you. Just know that I will always date back to your baby days, your innocent days, and your days when you actually wanted me to walk you to your class.....Miss Ella.
Look at all that 4yr old sweetness that is now starting middle school.
Girls, in the newness of this "older kids" season I have learned a lot. My life isn't all toddlers and babies like it once was. I've had to learn a lot this past year, both good and bad. I've learned about waiting and listening. About letting go and letting you grow. And about how I try to control things that were never meant to be in my control. Your story is not my story to tell anymore.
Motherhood is humbling, ladies. It's a journey of grace, and love, and joy, and pain, and sleepless nights. It's dancing in the rain and soaking up the small stuff. It's this passion that runs so deep in my being that sometimes it's painful because I just love you so much.
And just as I blink and remember being in my early 20's with my belly swollen with your newborn goodness, I also know I'll blink and we'll be ten years from now.
10 things, girls. 10 things that I want you all to remember as you start another year of school...
You are unique. Unique among your siblings and unique among your peers. You won't be any good at being someone else, but you will be SO great at being you. Each of you have different passions and talents that make you stunning in His (and my) eyes. Embrace the beauty that God created when He knit you together. Inside and out.
Everyone is not doing it. Not everyone is acting that way. Not everyone talks like that. Not everyone is wearing that skimpy outfit. And not everyone thinks its cool. You are independent, and smart, and funny. Be a leader. Hard to find, not easy to get.
You are worth it. You are worth that dream you want to chase, that goal you want to reach, and anything else your little hearts desire. You are worth waiting for, worth fighting for, and worth the respect of others (especially the boys, my dears). You are worth it because He says so. Know your value and never compromise.
Don't be a gossip. You don't want to be that girl. It never ends well and it almost always comes back to bite you. Let your conversations be uplifting and encouraging to people around you. Your words need to be full of truth, love, and grace.
Be Honest. To me, to yourself, to Him. Be upfront and tell it like it is. It's like telling someone their zipper is down, awkward at first, but better for everyone in the end.
Focus on your heart, not your appearance. Modesty is admirable. I have been shocked at the pressure on you young girls. Our culture can be nasty, be prepared to fight for what you know is true. The state of your heart is more important than your size, or choice in designer clothes - you are more important than a number. And at the end of the day, people want to be with someone who's heart is full of passion and joy, not with someone who only talks about her image or lack there of.
Love your sisters. Take a look around you, these ladies are your best friends. Look out for each other. They will be here when you are down and when you want to celebrate. They (along with myself) will sit in bed and eat pizza with you when you get your heart broken. It is an unbreakable bond, please remember that when you pass each other in the hallway.
I am your mother, not your friend. This is a hard one for me because I really want you to like me and I know that sometimes you won't. For now though, it's my job to raise you. Study, do your homework, and make good choices in your friendships. If you don't, I will step in and be the bad guy (and we all know how much fun that is). We'll laugh and talk like girlfriends sometimes, but for the most part, I'm mom. I can't wait to have the grown up relationships with you that I have with your grandma.
Show unexplainable love & grace. Girls, remember who we are and those we have loved. Remember that you never know what the kid next to you is dealing with. Love people even when they're not your favorite people. Love the ones that no one wants to love. Everyone needs hope, and nothing trumps the grace and hope that He has shown us. It truly is amazing grace, ladies - don't ever let anyone tell you different. Share it with everyone.
I'm here. Anytime you need me. Anytime you need to talk or cry or rejoice, I'm here. I want to know whats happening in your little world. I will wait for you to tell me and I'll try to accept the times that you don't. Just know that I hurt when you hurt, and I rejoice when you rejoice. Tell me all about life, about school, and about whats on your heart. I'll listen. Always.
I love ya, babes.
Yes, you'll always be my babies. And no, I won't call you that in front of your friends anymore.
There is nothing I wouldn't do, no fight I wouldn't fight, and no other earthly love like the one I have for you. It is unique and mysterious and a gift from Him.
You ladies are a gift in so many ways. I am forever thankful for the bond we have. Here's to another school year. If you need me, I'll be in the car after drop off trying to figure out where the time has gone.
Love you so, so much.