It’s funny. I grew you inside of my own body. I changed your diapers, read to you, prayed the bedtime prayers with you. I’ve taught you how to tie your shoes, say “please” and “thank you”, make a PB&J sandwich, and check out library books. Because of me, you know how to brush your teeth, make your bed, feed the dog, mow the lawn, apply mascara, shop the clearance rack with great skill and speak with an eloquently sarcastic tongue. I even gave you my looks. (Sorry kids.) I’ve spent 17 years teaching you everything I know and giving you all I’ve got.
What floors me… What has always floored me… God chose me to be your mother. He put me in the position of raising you. I’m supposed to teach you all the things. Yet everyday, you are teaching me.
You’ve reminded me about the importance of passion and vulnerability. You’ve taught me to be a woman of my word and to follow through. Little ears have heard the talk, and little eyes have watched the walk. The talk and the walk had better match. You’ve taught me how to handle a tender heart… And how to apologize if I screwed up. You’ve taught me the importance of leaning in to God and drawing everything I need from Him because I certainly can’t pour into you if my own cup is empty. I now have a better understanding of the fierce and sacrificial love of our Heavenly Father. I get it now, this unconditional and uncontrollable love. Because I’ve experienced my own fierce, unconditional, uncontrollable love for you. Love I had no idea I was capable of before you came into my life. And if sinful me can give good gifts to my children, how much more will my Father in heaven give? If his love is bigger than mine? Well. That’s pretty. dang. big.
As I’ve tried to foster and encourage growth in both your strengths and weaknesses, I’ve discovered that I never stop learning about my own strengths and weaknesses. Lord knows, you’ve allowed me to come face to face with my weaknesses. And I thank you for that. Because how else can I grow as a human being, a woman, a wife, a mother?
Now that we are nearing that heart-breaky part where I sense the nest is going to start looking a little empty in the next few years, I’ve come to realize something. You will be entering a new season in your life where you will take all the things I’ve taught you (and I pray to God I’ve taught you enough) out into the world as you enter a new season in your life. Simultaneously, I will be taking all that you’ve taught me (and trust me girls, you’ve taught me richly) into an entirely new season in my own life. We will both take what we’ve learned and use it while we learn how to live apart from each other. (Hopefully not too far apart. Next door seems appropriate to me.)
Oh. One other thing I’ve learned from you. The art of the Selfie. Never liked pictures of myself. Still don’t. But at least I can consider myself culturally relevant now that I know some of the few key factors in how to appear to have fewer chins than I actually have. Good thing I have you in my life!