Happy 17th Birthday Chickie!
How is it possible that you’re 17? When I picture you in my mind you’re about 3 or 4 years old, with chubby cheeks, short red hair, and smudged glasses… I guess the only difference is that you’ve gotten taller 😉
You are a beautiful young lady. There are so many things that you are passionate about… your cave, animals, music, friends, Netflix, reading, Dutch Bros, sarcasm, babies <– not your own, other people’s babies! People often tell me how impressed they are that you volunteer in the toddler room and that you’re good at it. I love to see you interact with them.
This year the training wheels are coming off. That’s scary for me. I want to shelter and protect you from all the nasty, hurtful stuff in the world. But, I love you. And I want to give you time and space to encounter the world while still in the safety of our home. A chance to try new things. I know that you will fail. And I want to be the safety net that will catch you, reassure you, and help you get back on your feet. I am praying for grace for both of us this year. I’m trying to let go – I promise. Just try not to fly too fast or too high – okay?
Have fun your senior year. Get involved. Try new things. Don’t have regrets. Be fierce.
I love you so much. I am incredibly proud of you.
In honor of “labor” day….
How long were your labors?
Kid #1: 16 hours
Kid #2: 5 hours
Kid #3: 9 hours
How did you know you were in labor?
Kid #1: I was out to dinner with my hubby when I felt the first contractions. We started to time them and when our waitress popped by the table she exclaimed, “Are you in labor??!!” and then promptly left to get our check and didn’t return for a really, really long time. Um, hello?!
Kid #2: I was induced 1 week after his due date.
Kid #3: I was induced 1 day after her due date.
Where did you deliver?
In the same hospital for all three kiddos. Loved, loved, loved the staff!
Kid #1: Epidural! Easy peasy.
Kid #2: Epidural – but only one side went numb.
Kid #3: Epidural – mostly worked great until the end when the pain got ahead of the drugs.
Nope. I was so terrified – and relieved that I never did.
Same doctor for all three 🙂
Kid #1: My doctor was scheduled to go on vacation. I had my baby on her last day at work! I had my hubby and my mom coaching me.
Kid #2: Same doctor. This time I had my hubby, my mom, and my sister by my side.
Kid #3: Same doctor. Switched it up… had my hubby and my BFF.
I can hardly believe that you’re 15 already. In 6 more months you can start learning to drive. And in 3 more years you’re outta here! Yowza!
This last year with you has been fabulous. You rocked your freshman year – even your college class! You are so smart and amazing. I love that you know what you’re passionate about and that you’re pursuing it. But at the same time you’re flexible… you’re willing to explore other classes – like the history of rock ‘n’ roll. I can’t wait to see how you do next year.
You continue to have a great sense of humor. I love that you’re willing and able to laugh at yourself. Never take yourself too seriously.
Every year when I write your letter I try to define who you are… it’s not easy. You’re bigger than life. Passionate, caring, sensitive, strong, smart, beautiful, funny. You’re amazing.
I remember the day that we brought you home from the hospital. I put you on my bed and just stared at you. I couldn’t believe they let me leave the hospital and take you home… I mean, I had no idea what I was doing. I was now responsible for another human being. That’s huge.
I think I did okay. You’re alive. You have all of your fingers and toes. You haven’t eaten anyone or set any fires. So we’re good. And now you’re figuring it out for yourself. Learning to set your own boundaries, building your own relationships, being responsible and trustworthy. And you know what? You’re doing okay. You’re alive. You have all of your fingers and toes. I’m so proud of you.
I love you Chickie!
I am really enjoying my kids right now. Sure they drive me nuts with their sibling bickering and some days I’m ready to sell them off to the first bidder… but really… I love them!
The kids are old enough now that they can be trusted at home by themselves. Which gives the hubby and I more time to reconnect. But it’s more than just that. They are old enough now to have deeper conversations, their own opinions, sarcastic remarks. Each one has their own distinct humor and they never fail to crack me up.
Chickie is in high school. High. School. She’s getting ready for her first set of finals. And then next semester she starts her first college class. I am amazed at her motivation. She’s a smart cookie – I tell her that all the time. She loves school and loves to learn. This semester she had to memorize a Robert Frost poem and has been working on learning how to read poetry aloud – with a microphone *gasp*. She is so proud of herself – I am too. Almost every day she comes home excited to tell me something new that she learned. She especially loves it when she gets to go out to the stables to see the horses. The white mare is her favorite. We have been encouraging her to get involved in extra curricular activities. She finally picked an after school club – archery! Surprised me but I’m glad that she is trying something new. It’s fun to listen to her talk about her friends and the crazy things they do at lunch. I am sure she will look back on her high school years with fond memories.
The Boy is in seventh grade. He’s a tall bean pole – all arms and legs – but starting to show some muscle definition. He’s playing flag football and getting ready to start soccer season. I like watching him connect with his teammates. He’s been more of a one-friend kind of guy and so to see him with a group – it’s fun. He isn’t the star on his team but he’s the reliable one. He’s at every practice and makes sure to practice at home too. He’s usually the team captain at the games – the one the coach pulls over to give the plays to. I’m excited to see how he does in soccer this year. He did okay last year but didn’t really have the confidence he needed to follow through. I think this year will be better. He’s still really into survival shows like Man vs Wild. He’s watched every survival show on Netflix. He loves, loves, loves to camp. I would really like to find a summer camp for him where he can learn survival skills. I’m also hoping to send him on his first hunting trip in February. He won’t have a license to hunt but it will be good for him to tag along and learn the necessary skills. He’s been doing so much better since his surgery. His spelling has improved tremendously. In fact, he’s won a few in-class spelling bees. He still struggles with reading – especially when he reads out loud. I don’t know how much of that is a result from his tumor or how much is hereditary. It’s fun watching him grow into a teenager. He would be embarrassed to know that I think he’s cute in his skinny jeans and snapback hat. He knows he wants his hair just so, his jeans to fit a certain way, a particular pair of shoes.
Beans is in the fourth grade. It’s her second year with this teacher and we just love her. She is the perfect teacher for Beans right now. She is so encouraging and constantly brings out her strengths. She works hard on school projects and does a really good job with time management. She studies for the spelling bee and for class speeches. She is also a class leader. She makes new students feel welcome and maintains close friendships. Now that I am working at her school I get to see her in action. As her mom I know that she has two best friends but in class she spends time with other students too. She’s been starting to have stomach problems like her sister. It’s been difficult to figure out her triggers though. We have learned that sugar too early in the morning is a big no-no; things like cereal and syrup. There are other triggers we haven’t figured out yet though. It’s very much a trial and error process. Beans has the greatest sense of humor and is very quick witted. She comes up with the best one-liners. She is still not a morning person and now that it’s winter and the mornings are dark… well, it’s a struggle to get her going. The other morning she finally rolled out of bed 9 minutes before we had to leave. We piled into the car and headed out. When I commented on the pretty sunrise she hissed like a cat. I laughed so hard!
I love my kids so much and I love watching them grow into the people they are becoming. No, every day is not rainbows and glitter – in fact, some days are grey clouds and thunder – loud thunder! But I love them just as much on those days.
I am so blessed.
Happy Birthday Chickie!
I can’t believe you’re already 14 years old. Where did all the time go?
This past year has been so much fun with you. Your sense of humor is awesome. You have become responsible and trustworthy. You love music and to sing along with whatever is playing. Especially if it’s Pentatonix. I think you may have devoured a library’s worth of books.
I can see you maturing almost daily. You are going to be an amazing adult – but I can wait for that – I’ll enjoy these teen years with you. I wish there was a way to bottle up a little bit of you each year.
I love you so much. I am so proud of who you are.
Dear Chickie –
Yesterday was a day to remember for you… your first kiss! This boy asked you to be his Valentine. You were smitten. He gave you an appropriate card… no mention of love or eternal vows. Just a cute card pointing out that he thinks you’re special.
You told him that he would need to meet me and Daddy. He’s all for it except he is a little nervous about meeting Daddy. We have both seen him at school and you’re right… he does look like Harry Potter minus the glasses.
Yesterday at school you both just happened to be out of class and in the hallway (coincidence? as much as you want me to believe that; i don’t think so) and he stole a kiss from you. You were hesitant to tell me; worried I would be mad.
I have very mixed feelings but anger isn’t one of them. I know how exciting this is for you; how wonderful it feels to be liked. You have learned about boundaries and boy drama and you want none of it. I am praying that you enjoy getting to know Young Potter but that you protect your heart. Remember that you are miles away from being ready to marry and so this relationship is – well – it’s practice is what it is. Learn to treat him with respect. Remember he has feelings too. He has a family – learn to talk to them and never, never disrespect them; even if he does. You have morals – don’t betray them. And please remember, I’m your Momma – I loved you first. You can talk to me – trust that I have your best interests at heart.
And Young Potter – I have my eye on you.
I am so in love with my kids. Do you remember the first moment that you laid eyes on your baby and your heart swelled? There were no words to describe the love. I have always loved my children but it’s so easy to get caught up in living the day-to-day life that you miss out on really seeing your child – really loving them. Does that make sense?
I know that I have been extremely busy since moving back – especially with a full-time job outside the home plus my full-time job at home. It’s been awhile since I’ve stopped to study each of my children and to just rejoice in who they are, what they’ve accomplished, where they are going in life. I’m trying, each day, to take some time to think about each one of them – to really focus in on them. And I find myself falling deeper in love with them.
It’s not that they are being “good” or that they’ve done something sweet. It’s who they are. I am in awe of what God is doing in their lives. I fall so short as a mother that is only by God’s grace that I can parent. I see His love and grace stamped all over each of my children. I am so blessed to be in their lives and to have them in mine. I am so in love.