Very soon, we'll walk our baby girl through the doors of her elementary school. It's hard for me to believe, since it seems like only yesterday we were tucked away in a cabin at Camp Tecumseh doing this:
I've never noticed it before, but I wonder if somehow we knew, even then at just 5 weeks along, that she'd be a girl. Look at our shirts...she would absolutely *adore* the fact that the color scheme for her pregnancy announcement was pink. :)
She's all me in so many ways, but she got at least one thing from you, babe: That girl is as sharp as a tack. She picks up on things so quickly and dang it if she doesn't remember them forever. Today we drove down Union and over the Union St. Bridge. When we passed the bar and the laundromat, she said, "Man! I see the same word four times, and it's in the same colors. It's starts with an "o", so I bet it says, 'Open,' because the businesses want people to know they're open." Obviously, she was talking about the neon "OPEN" signs that were hanging all over.
We did good, honey. :) She's a firecracker, and we're still refining a few personality traits, but that girl is amazing...and we made her! :) How incredible is that!?
I'm so excited for her and proud of her, and I know she's going to be great. But something else hit me this afternoon. Something I didn't expect.
I got overwhelmed with how grateful I am that she has you as her daddy. She'll face incredible challenges inside the walls of that school. She'll be trying to figure out who she is and what makes her special. There will be times when she wonders whether she's beautiful or smart or good enough. We are releasing her into the world for the first time, and the world's going to do its best to break her down and conform her to its ways.
But each night when she comes home, you'll be there for her: assuring her that she's gorgeous, inside and out. Affirming the incredible gifts and talents that God has given her. Telling her that she's better than good enough. Your love...that selfless, amazing, God-given love that you've shown me over the past 10 years...that incredible love that has changed me and my understanding of God's love...Your love will wash over her everytime you guys read a book together, draw a picture together, work out a math problem together, or sing a song together.
And I am so grateful for that. You are an incredible husband and daddy. Thank you for loving us like you do.
With all my heart,
Today is a big day, kiddo. :) You've chosen your outfit, and you've been asking, "Is it time to go to the school yet?" since I told you about it yesterday evening. :) You're quick to let me know that you're "a little nervous" because you "don't know any of the kids yet." And I've tried to tell you that you'll make friends very quickly and easily, but you're still not convinced. And I'm kinda okay with that. :)
I'm glad that you think of home as a safe space. I'm thankful for the past five years and all we've learned and done together. I would be a little sad if you weren't showing any hesitancy at all.
But this is my secret: I'm savoring every moment of your hesitancy, because I know it's already headed toward extinction. I've got a sneaking suspicion that you won't be hesitant after tonight. If I had to place a bet, I'd play it safe and bet that you'll be completely comfortable (if not running the whole show) after the first week. ;)
You see, you were born for this, kiddo. Perhaps the public school system isn't fit for every child, but if ever there was a child that fit the public school system, it's you. Some people think it's too much to expect a five-year-old to be able to spread the love and joy and truth of Jesus Christ, and it might be for some children. But not you. You understand what it means to follow Jesus Christ better than I understood it five years ago. And you don't just understand it, you live it. I see God's love through you every single day.
You're helpful and compassionate. You desire to make others happy and to make wise choices. You're willing to make hard choices.
Beyond all of that, you're intelligent and very well-spoken. You are stubborn and full of leadership abilities. You're creative and entertaining. You are the most beautiful young lady I know.
Ruby-doo, I love you way more than I can describe with letters and words. That's why sometimes I just squeeze you tight and cry a little bit. You and the rest of our family are the most important things in the world to me, and I am so thankful that I get to be your mommy.
It won't be long now, and we'll be walking into your new elementary school. I can't wait to experience this new phase with you.
I love you, kiddo. Go get 'em!