I feel like I should be saying goodbye to the baby/toddler/little girl version of you, and hello to this all-of-a-sudden grown up kid who has appeared in our lives. I spent many days of your life doubting that we would *ever* make it to this point, because it seemed your growth was taking an excruciatingly slow amount of time. In my mind, if time was going any slower, it would have been going backward.
And now, look at you. I won’t say the dreaded, “They grow up SO fast” cliche that I abhor… but I will say your changes have astounded me. You are a living, breathing contradiction. One moment, you have the poise and elegance that hints at your life as a young lady and – one day – an adult woman. A few blinks later, you resort to the sulking and pouting that transports me back to the Terrible Twos.
Eight is such a contrary age to be!
I am surprised at how your experiences are starting to mirror my own childhood. As I tend to you, I am starting to recover my own memories. This morning, I was brushing your hair and (for the hundredth time) flashed back to when my mom used to brush my hair over breakfast. But this was a different flashback. In that instant, my mother was alive again for me. Your presence connects me to my past in a way I never imagined would happen.
Here’s the thing about eight and memories: I remember being eight, which means you’ll remember things you’re experiencing now too. That’s cool to think you might remember your first summer camp trip, or how your teacher had a habit of laughing out loud at herself. But the idea of you remembering makes me cringe too, because I know this means you’ll remember the hurts your heart might feel or the mistakes we make as parents. You’re going to remember LIFE now, which is scary and exhilarating at the same time.
Despite all my faults and failures (every mother has them, you know; you will too one day, God willing), I hope you remember this above all else: I love you. There is nothing more profound or more simple that I can say to you. I love you in the most broken, imperfect, passionate, adoring way that I know how. Look hard enough and you will find fault and plenty of ways I could love you better, but it’s the best offering I have to give you.
I love being your mommy. I love watching you evolve into the treasured soul God designed you to be. I have no idea how that masterpiece is going to turn out, but I DO know it is breathtakingly beautiful to watch the creation take place.
Happy birthday, sweet Katie. I love you!