Okay…yes…we have more than one now. But 11 years ago today, she came into the world as our first girl, and remained our only girl for 6 more years. Raising her has been nothing like raising her brothers, partly because she’s a girl, but mostly because she is entirely unique in her personality, her perspectives, her strengths and her weaknesses.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand how she can be totally unconcerned for whether she has spelled a word correctly, and I remain baffled by her ability to understand the mechanics of things. She has considerable talent in art and math (quite a combination, huh?) but both can be limited at times by lack of attention and carelessness. She loves girly things (anything that sparkles or shimmers or ruffles), but wants to be stronger and faster and better at everything than her brothers. She gets easily distracted from almost any chore, but when she does apply herself, can be extremely detailed and thorough.
And now, she’s entering her “pre-teen” years. There’s more tears, more attitude, more wonderings of what-part-of-left-field-did-that-just-come-from? But there’s also a greater interest in just being near me, which I am trying my best to not take for granted. She is learning patience with her little sisters, too, and I find her randomly snuggled up to them, reading books or quietly playing. She has a fairly new-found love of baking, and continues to work on developing her skills with the sewing machine. And I see, albeit sometimes more slowly than I’d like, character traits taking shape in her that I’ve long worried could never be.
This girl of mine continues to be my greatest challenge, but also the catalyst God most uses to humble, and shape, and teach me. I know that doesn’t evoke much of the sappy sentiment that I so often think should be all that my thoughts of my children evoke. But she is a gift. She is precious to me. I am so very thankful for her – for the unique and wonderful person she is, and for the ways I am forced to my knees (sometimes in petition, sometimes in repentance) because of her. It is truly with great joy that we celebrate these 11 years that she has been our girl.