Her red curls clung to the back of her neck as I parted her hair and pulled each side into a ponytail.
I had just done this yesterday morning, too. (She’s into ponytails now, because she has a friend who wears her hair in ponytails.) This morning we chatted and she sang and we talked about the dreams we had in the night.
But yesterday morning looked very different. We had a rough morning, my Bella-girl and I, mostly because I was tired and impatient with her. Honestly, y’all, (and I’m not exaggerating) yesterday is the first day that I can remember ever being off-kilter with her for more than a few moments. She just has such a pleasant personality. But yesterday morning was hard, and I failed her. Often.
Finally, I sat down with her and told her how I had sinned against her. “Will you forgive Mommy?” I asked. Her eyes filled with tears and she whispered, “Always.” She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek and we sat there filled with grace and love and each other.
I marvel at her. This child whose sweet spirit forgives so easily and loves so freely.
Ah, the heart of a child. How I long for a heart like hers–to live in her world of freedom and love.
This morning as we chattered and laughed, I listened to her while I combed her tangles. She sang loudly, unashamedly, a song she had just made up.
Oh my world is a happy place
My world is a happy place to be.
Jesus is my Savior
And He died for me…
I want to live in her world…
Oh, but I have. I have lived with her this past year. It’s been just us two until the boys get home in the afternoon, and I have delighted in each day with her.
Today was the last one.
The last day of just her and me.
Tomorrow we’ll meet the boys for their end of year picnic and summer will begin. And then in the fall, she will trot off with the boys to school and this house will be decidedly less sunshiny.
And through the tears, I said thickly to my Bri, “I just don’t think I can do this.”
My heart aches tonight as I relive our last day. Playing cards and curling up to watch a movie and swinging high on the porch swing while we play our guessing game. She is sleeping next to me tonight, leaning into my side, curls tightening as she sweats in her sleep. I can’t help but watch her, and my tears fall freely, aching with this transition.
God has gifted me with this treasure, and gifted me with the joy of staying home with her full time. I have reveled in this time with her, and I am so thankful I have had the amazing privilege to call her my daughter and to learn the music of her life.
I will miss these days. Oh, how I will miss them.
Summer beckons… as does our summer list… and the joy of having the boys home with us every day. We are excited about the summer together.
Today is an ending.
A painful ending at that…
But endings mean beginnings.
And beginnings hold promise and hope.
So I hold it all with open hands, holding my Bella out to Jesus that she might learn to trust Him first in her life.
And isn’t that what I’ve been doing all along? This time together. This molding.
Andrew Ferguson wrote of parenting that it is “preparing those you can’t live without to live without you.”
I ache to think of my empty days to come, but I find great joy in the lives she will fill with her sunshine.
Living in her world has been so much fun.
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