Somewhere along the road I realized you are growing up. Yeah, I know, your hair is getting longer. And your feet have grown through yet another pair of shoes. And that Elsa shirt doesn’t really fit anymore. And when I was folding yet another pair of those “just barely fitting you still” pants it hit me. My preschooler is gone.
I stood by your bed tonight. Your promoted to the top bunk, bed. And watched your heavy breaths. Your wild Merida curls overcoming your pillow. And something caught in my throat. You’re getting so big.
In just a few weeks you will start Kindergarten. I know sometimes that doesn’t feel very big. There’s always Rachael’s shadow. But we try hard, baby, to give you a spotlight outside of the “Rachael’s little sister” category. I understand. I’ve been there. And it’s not always a bad place to be. Especially with such a great big sister. But you, my dear, are turning into such a vibrantly amazing little girl.
I love how your laugh still compels anyone nearby to frolic in your joy. I love how your imagination overwhelms you with story lines until I am utterly convinced that you are indeed Agnes from Despicable Me or Honey Lemon from Big Hero Six. Some may think it a lack of creativity, but quite the contrary I see the real delight in your Shakespearian monologues to the backgrounds of Disney titles. I see your sweeping dress as you run down the hallway in reckless abandonment to the North Mountain’s solitude to sing “Let it Go”. And in those moments I see a little flicker of an actress in you. An actress who relates to others in the depths of their world.
I love that little furrowed brow of justice. It’s so powerful. It boils your blood to see someone left out. It just cannot happen. And you will share anything you have to make sure all are included. I see how your special animals creep into Hannah’s bed when Hannah’s having a hard day. I see how Eden becomes surrounded by toys whenever she lets out the meekest fuss. I see how Daddy’s shirt get Kroger sticker decorations whenever you get a bounty. Your generosity is growing. It’s fueled by a justice and a compassion that are truly beautiful to watch. There is no fanfare. No attention seeking. Just a quiet sacrifice made by your precious little heart of love.
Thank you for not finding me an intrusion when I check in on you in your introverted moments. Your slices of away. Be it picking flowers while the others play. Or chalk drawings once everyone moves on to London Bridges. You are happy. You are fully content. You politely refuse a group invite for your rewarding quiet away. This heart understands you. And thank you for including me in your quiet away. I promise to stay quiet and just be nearby. Loving you. And encouraging you with a few fingers playing with your pigtails. Or a kiss on your forehead. Just a quiet reminder that you are wonderful. And I adore the beautiful character God has made in you.
Abi, my love, we celebrated your fifth birthday. FIVE! My goodness! FIVE! How in the world did you grow so fast? You’re HUGE! And I can just picture your proud smile as I write about how big you are. You are a kid, my love. A KID! Gone are the days of preschool attention spans. Gone are the days of toddler fall-out tantrums (they’ve been replaced with “big kid” pouting sessions – ha!). And gone are the “no one holds me but Mommy” days of being an infant. Abi, my word child, you are HUGE!
And as you take big steps, hard steps and sometimes scary steps to grow into the little lady that God desires you to be I want to remind you of this one thing: no matter how huge you get, my love, you are never too big for a hug from Mommy or Daddy. We adore you, Abi. Your fun, quirky, excited, carefree, laughing, bounding, wonderful personality make us want to be around you. We never know what our firecracker will say or do next. You are a rare gem, my dear, a precious light in our eyes. And I want you to remember that we have and will always love you, Daddy and I. There’s nothing we won’t walk with you through. Nothing we wouldn’t do to encourage you to be the wonderful creation that God has made you.
So even though I didn’t get a post up around your birthday because of VBS and vacation and all that busy fun stuff, I still wanted to write you a letter. A letter that I will read to you once you wake up tomorrow. A letter to remind you that you are still and will forever be MY Abi Grace.
Even if you are 5 and huge now. 😉
I love you, Abi. So, so, so much.
I’m proud of you.
Our world needs more people like you, Abi.
So keep being your awesome self.