My Natalie Is Grown-Up
God blessed me with my heart's desire in such an amazing, brown-eyed daughter.
You were so small and delicate when you were born. Your life seemed fragile at a birth weight of less than 2 pounds. We held our breath day by day faithfully believing you would be just fine.
God gave you and I an undeniable connecting beginning in that noisy NIC-U hospital nursery. I could tell you were the most special baby there immediately. That God meant for you to fill the place in my heart that only one's daughter can fill.
Watching you grow with a determination that knew no limits. You blew away everyone! Not only did you keep up with your 3 older brothers, you told them what to do and how to do it. Midget Mom was in you and there was no keeping her quiet! The countless casts you had to wear never slowed you down a bit. You acted as though they were not there and went about your life. I admire you, my precious girl, for all you do despite. Despite the obstacles in your way you do what you do and rarely complain.
YOur faith has grown throughout your life, a faith I long to share. You know of God's great love for you. I can see it in you smile. I can see it in your relationships, your choices, your heart.
One day soon you will move away again and your messy room will stay clean. As I sit on your bed looking at the clutter free, empty floor where a pile of clothes and cast off shoes used to be. I will long for essays to write together under the covers with my friend, my coauthor, my daughter.
If I can send you off with anything I would like it to be this. Don't ever lose your courage to go after what you want to do. Keep God in your thought, He is only a thought away. Even on the loneliest days He never leaves you alone but waits patiently for you to notice His open arms and calm desire to listen and support. Keep your faith in Christ but also keep your faith in yourself. Listen to your heart and you will make choices that help you move in the right direction and not let life sidetrack you.
One more time I want to answer a few questions so you will have no doubts. Because a mother always knows!
~Yes, you will get married. I pray for your future husband, my future son-in-love, all the time.
~Yes, he will be more incredible than any guy you have met so far.
~Yes, you will have a marvelous career where God will use you to help others.
~Yes, I am your favorite person.
~Yes, you are beautiful, special, perfect in His image. He even told you so!
~Yes, you do have to wash dishes, do laundry and change the oil now and then.
~Yes, you are the best travel journal writer of all. Your brothers gave up the competition long ago.
~No, you cannot spit and cuss in the same day.
~No, you never have to be alone.
~Yes, you are a gift your dad and I treasure beyond measure.
~Yes, your brothers love you, even when they don't show it.
~No, you don't have to be homeschooled for college. Just say no if someone tries to give you drugs.
~Yes, you do have to call on Mother's Day and Father's Day every year.
~No, you do not have to eat meat or any animal products. I admire your convictions and compassions for all God's creatures.
~Yes, you can climb any mountain, even those in Alaska. When the boys and I were too lazy, your Dad was thrilled that his girl was always willing to stick by his side.
Most of all, I want you to know you will be in my prayers continuously. That I could not love anyone more. That it is my pleasure to be your mom. That I am far from perfect, and I know you turned out fabulous in spite of my mistakes. I would choose you again. I will miss you beyond belief as life takes you out into the world. But I am proud of the woman you have become.
Thank you for loving middle schoolers with me.
Thank you for helping me with make up.
Thank you teaching me to juice and eat vegan even if my journey was oh so temporary.
Thank you for all the mother/daughter talks under the covers.
Thank you for prom dresses, movie nights, frequent birthday lunches at Macaroni's.
Thank you for sharing your faith and courage and sign language expertise.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your life and keeping me informed even when I cringed at the details.
But mostly, thank you for spending your life with me
It has been an adventure filled with laughter, tears, cursing, hugs, and most of all unconditional love.
Can't wait to see how the next chapter reads!