*** Sometimes I just want to single her out and share words I wish she could fully understand. But even if she can’t understand fully, my heart still needs to say these words.
My Dearest Abi Grace,
Oh my flighty, strong-willed, adorable little girl. I have watched you spring out of your toddlerhood into a flourishing little girl. Oh you still need the strict boundaries, they help your passions from flying out of reality. You still need someone to come alongside of you and remind you to break out of your bubble of musical numbers and dance breaks. There is a whole world going on that sometimes you miss in exchange for another rendition of a Frozen song. But how I know your heart loves to express the very depths of those climactic moments brought to song. I love that too. It’s fun to get lost in a song.
My dear Abi, I delight in you. The very world we try to break you out of sometimes is the very world Daddy and I love to see you wholeheartedly in. We love your innocence. I love that you have this whole level of imaginative play that encompasses you. You just get so overwhelmed by your world of play that it outpours into an enviable and beautiful joy. You glow sometimes with such beautiful brightness that we just want to be a part of it. My heart can’t stand not being a part of that happiness you have created.
But you know, I think we butt heads the most because I see a little version of my immature self in you. I forget sometimes how long it took to learn the lessons of maturity when it feels like I have to remind you for the hundredth time that day that you are required to share – even though it was a musical number’s prop your toddler sister touched. I forget the hours of me testing my mother when you I am tired from walking through a hard expression moment with you. I forget how intensely that need for justice burned inside of me until I found an outlet, the very outlet you are searching for. I forget how the passion would well up inside of me and I didn’t know how to direct it or guide it so it would just overflow in tears or a jumble of words that never seemed to express what I really felt. But when I remember all that about the constant and gentle shaping of my wild little heart by a wonderful Father, I do remember one face of reason in my life: my mother. How patiently she walked beside me, teaching me the hard lessons, but I knew full well it was because she was invested in my person, the very core of me. And suddenly I see you as the little girl you are, the little girl struggling to learn how to harness the depth of the character God has knitted together within her. What beauty He has created in you. I can’t wait to see how He uses it, should you allow Him.
Abi, you are a boundary tester at heart. It makes me chuckle to see your little “spirited” side. Sure many times it’s wrapped in selfish motives. You haven’t quite learned how big the world is yet. I’m trying to help you see outside of you. But that sight takes a long time to perfect. It takes intentional training. But it’s worth the investment. I see that little rebellion creep into your smirk as you pretend not to hear your name being called. It makes me chuckle. I tried to get away with that too. You will learn. But even more than you learning to obey, I want you to learn the delight in obedience. The desire to feel that closeness of relationship. That harmony and beauty that comes not out of a broken, crushed-down submission, but to see the fruit of obedience’s harmony and then desire to seek it yourself. First thing’s first, “listen and obey” is your least favorite reminder hat tumbles from my lips – not through pursed lips (many times) but with time and maturity you will learn that I am more invested in your person, than I am your fleeting happiness in that particular moment. It’ll take some time and distance for you to learn that. It has taken that for us all.
Abi, you’ll always be my baby. I know you don’t want to hear that right now because you’re trying so hard to be “big”. You’re trying so hard to learn how to flex your wings and discover what you like and express those likes. Yep, I’m going to correct you. Sometimes those expressions are rooted in greed. And sometimes it’s merely the need to learn how to appropriately communicate your preference without bucking authority. Yeah, that one takes time and practice too. But I want you to feel safe to try. I want you to feel the love and trust that encourage you to make mistakes, even big ones, and then be able to learn from them. It’s a hard, vulnerable place to be to truly learn from another. It’s a pride-crushing blow sometimes. I want you to feel it’s worth the risk. And I want you to hear our cheering squad at your efforts.
My little Abi girl, you are beautiful. And I want you to know I have been and will always fight for you. Sometimes you won’t see it. Sometimes it’ll be behind the scenes. It’s those little conversations I have with others who desire your greatest welfare, where I share some secrets on how to encourage your obedience. 😉 Sometimes it’s holding out my arms to your running tears, and holding you through your explosion of injustice and your hurt. And sometimes its watching you make bumps and bruises and then helping you to learn how to repair relationships. It’s a delicate balance, baby, but I will always fight for you… the best and truest form of you that you can be. In your flaws and your delights…. you are a wonderful investment. Soar, baby!
I just wanted to take a moment to write you a letter. I know sometimes you can feel lost in the business of a bunch of sisters, or the business of being a part of a ministry family. I know sometimes you just want some extra snuggle time. You just want Daddy or my full attention. And we try to give it to you. I try to hear your heart, even when it comes out a little jumbled and sin-pricked. You’ve never been “just the middle” to me. I still see the baby I carried around on my hip for over a year because you just needed that security. You are worth every adjustment to what I thought parenting was and is. You are worth the 4 a.m. wake-ups when I just can’t stop thinking about how to teach you a particular lesson. You are worth the extra time it takes to focus in on intentionally teaching you healthy boundaries in a way that you can understand. You are worth the moments of inconvenience when I have to apologize for snapping at you because I was focused more on a behavior than a life lesson. You are my one. My only. My Abi Grace. I love you, Abinov. My Abean-o. I love you so much that I make up little nicknames to catch your attention so you know that you’re on my mind. And just to make you smile.
I am so thankful to get the chance to be your Mommy.
Love you so, sweet girl.
Love you so.
From the deep,