It might seem strange to you, that I’m writing you a note on the internet rather than on paper, but the note on paper will probably get lost sometime over the course of your life. The Internet however, is forever. (Let that be lesson number one my love.) I’ll write to you here, so someday we can look back, and remember all that you’ve taught me, since you were a little girl only 11 years old.
As you started your first day of 6th grade (which is your last year of elementary school) I found myself struggling more now, that I did the day you started kindergarten.
How did the time go so fast?! It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago, I waddled my VERY pregnant self down the hallway to your kindergarten classroom, and your journey of elementary school began.
You were still an only child back then…that week is when God gave you, your first sister. What a big week that was! You have been the best big sister I have ever seen, and the way you love and care for your sisters makes me love you that much more. Your heart is so full of compassion, and love for all 3 of your sisters, that I find myself at a loss for words at times. You love them so selflessly, and I pray that part of you never changes, even as you grow up. Being a big sister is really hard sometimes, but you do it so well.
It seems like I merely yawned (I’ve been exhausted since I found out I was pregnant with you) and then with a long blink I found myself here. We are at a time in your life that will be one of many big milestones for you, and for me. It’s going to go fast, your life already has for me, but I pray you find joy in every day of your last year of elementary school. Make sure to make the most of recess, swing, play, chase your friends around the playground, because you’ll never get recess again. (Unless you’re in court, but that’s a lesson for another time.) Your teacher is one of the best teachers I have ever known, and when he tells you he loves you, believe him. My 6th grade teacher still keeps in touch with me, and it’s been MANY years since I was in her class. She came and saw me in the hospital last year after my accident, and that told me a lot about how much she cared for me when I was a little girl.
I know this year is a big year for you, but it’s a big one for me too, as your momma! My emotions might seem crazy to you now, but I pray that someday you will have children of your own and will understand. Hopefully when that day comes, you’ll still live close enough that I can take you to coffee to celebrate (or grieve) however you will feel when that time comes for you.
This week is a big one for me, because this week I taught you how to shave your legs. As we sat on the edge of the tub together, it took everything I had in me to not cry, as we lathered that shaving cream together. Why didn’t you tell me I was using daddy’s razor on my legs by accident? You could have saved me so much agony these last few days! My legs itch with all of the world’s itchiness…but I did it out of my love for your delicate knees and ankles, as I taught you how to PROPERLY shave your own legs.
Now, I know this isn’t the first time you’ve shaved your legs… I clearly remember when you were 6 years old and dry shaved yor legs in the downstairs bathroom. The chunk of skin missing from your knee was still on the blade of the razor when I found the razor next to the sink. I still cringe at the thought of that, but there was no sense in being angry at you for shaving without permission…Dry shaving is a life lesson all of it’s own. 1) Dry shaving your legs is NEVER a good idea. It’s better to spend the rest of your life looking like chewbacca’s twin sister than to dry shave your legs. It’s going to itch and burn in ways you have never known, and my love, pain and itch like that, is horrid 2) if you have to sneak something, it’s probably not worth it.
In all seriousness, teaching you how to shave taught me a lot about myself.
You are so much more patient than I am.
You asked me over a year ago, if I would let you shave your legs, but I told you no at the time. My heart wasn’t ready for that big step. One of my biggest struggles is to know when it’s ok to let you grow up a little. The world wants you to rush though everything, but you’re still my little girl, and I want to keep you a little girl as long as possible. This time is precious and we’ll never get it back. Also, I couldn’t reach my own legs to even show you how, because my belly was so big and round, carrying your baby sister. I told you that day, that you were brave enough to ask, “If you wait until I’m not pregnant anymore, I will show you how to do it.” And you did. You waited for me.
Your newest sister was born and life got busy. In the midst of all of the chaos of the day to day things, you have been such an amazing helper to me. I don’t know what I would ever do without you some days. I know sometimes I get frustrated with you, as you follow me around the house, trying to hand the baby to me while I’m doing things like brushing my teeth or trying to use the bathroom, but I truly am thankful for you, even if I don’t always show it.
Sometimes I think back to the days when it was just you and me because daddy was at work, and I don’t know how I managed to survive. You weren’t the easiest of babies to say the least, and I think I just cried right along with you most days. Here you are now, 11 years old, my biggest helper, and all the while patiently waiting on me to keep my promise. I think this age you are right now, is my favorite so far. You are seriously the coolest kid, and I am so proud to be your momma.
“Mom you said you will show me.” You say, as patiently as you know how… And in return I say “I will honey, just not right now.”
You see, you waiting to shave your legs seems like a huge deal to you, but I don’t think you realize how huge of a deal it is to me. It took you your whole life to grow that hair. (I probably should have had more vitamins and less happy meals when I was pregnant with you) but truly, all silliness aside, you showed me your character is far greater than my own. Your patience and willingness to wait on me, has made me see myself and the Lord in a way I never have before.
You were brave enough to ask permission, and risk that I might say no.
You were patient, and willing to wait until I said ok, even if you didn’t want to.
You didn’t rush ahead or get frustrated and try to do it on your own. You just waited.
The times you felt like I had forgotten, you asked me again “Mom, remember, you promised…?” And you’re right, I did promise. When I asked you to wait just a little bit longer you obeyed, even if you didn’t agree.
Your obedience to me, made me see my obedience to the Lord so differently.
So many times I get impatient with God. I never want to wait for Him to show me how to do things His way. When He’s taking longer than I want him to, I get flustered, impatient, and sometimes I try to “dry shave” my way though life…but not you my sweet girl. You waited. I want to be more like you.
I always thought my job as your mom was to teach you about life, but sweet girl, you have taught me far more than I ever imagined.
I hope you know how much I love you, and how grateful I am for this life that God has given me to share with you. You are an answer to many of my prayers. I look forward to all that this year has in store for you, your last year in elementary school. I could say a million more things, but I don’t want to break the Internet.
Thank you for being patient with me, and for waiting for me to teach you how to shave when I felt the time was right. God must have known there was more to this experience than just shaving.
Ps. I’m sorry if I missed a few spots.
“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14 NKJV
In His Love,