I can’t believe you are thirteen years old. We both sure have come a long way! Just 21 when you were born, I gotta tell you, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. You were my first baby, and now you are my first teenager. And guess what… I’m still not sure I know what I’m doing.
I know I’ve messed up on some things. I wish I had let you believe in Santa. I wish I had been a little more fun and a little less worried about getting everything right. I wish things with me and your dad hadn’t meant you had to deal with grown-up stuff sooner than you should have. I wish we hadn’t had to move so many times and I could have given you a childhood home to always remember.
But there are some things I’m happy about. Remember when we had “the talk?” You wer SOOOOO embarrassed and so was I, but we did it! It was the first of many embarrassing talks for us both, but we’re still talkin’! Remember when you first saw your baby brother Levi? We got you a baby boy doll and you and I took care of our “babies” together. I remember one time you were in a musical at church. You came down the aisle with the rest of the kids and you were so happy and excited. I realized then that seeing you happy is just about the most amazing experience I get to have. Remember homemade waffles on Saturday mornings? Remember playing in the rain on Upstream Street and splashing like crazy in the puddles? Remember “Soap skating?” Remember when you had to be in the hospital? I would have given anything to get you better. Remember your second grade year that we homeschooled? I loved all our fun field trips, and getting to teach you myself. Remember how we had to get through Hurricane Katrina together? Remember “WINN DIXIE!!!”?? I love hearing you laugh. I’m glad we spent time with your Granny Great, and even though you might not remember it all, you got to know her and she got to know you.
You were the most beautiful baby in the world. You were the most adorable little girl ever. Your smile and your laugh could keep me going for days. When you were born I was scared to death. I had this little person and any mistake I made might hurt her for life!! I didn’t want to make ANY mistakes.
We were inseparable for the first couple of years of your life. We did just about everything and went just about everywhere together. I wanted so much to be a good mommy. These days you are almost as tall as me. We don’t shop in the children’s department anymore, and your bedroom door is closed more often than it’s open. Some days I’m scared that there are some things you may never learn if I haven’t taught them to you by now. Some days I’m scared that since I DO make some mistakes you might be hurt forever.
Then I realize that you are becoming a wonderful young lady in spite of my mess-ups. You are an amazing person because GOD made you that way,and my silly mistakes can’t undo HIS great work in you. I’m SO proud of who you are, and so excited about who you will be.
I used to rock you to sleep every night, but can’t rock you anymore. I’m rocking your baby brother, Caleb, while you are texting or talking on your phone in your room. I’m learning to be a more grown-up mom to a more grown-up girl. We still have a long way to go together and I know we might have some tough times ahead. But we’ll get through that too, just like the tough times we’ve put behind us.
You were my “Christmas present from God.” You still are. You always will be.
Happy Birthday, my Mackenzie!!