My baby is turning 2 tomorrow!She’s such a big girl. I mean she’s a little girl…but she’s growing up. It makes me kind of sad…melancholy I guess. We are so lucky. She loves everybody…and I mean everybody. We went to the bank today and she made the rounds to everyone who worked there giving them all hugs. Thankfully we were the only customers in there! We go to the gym and she just takes off toward her class, excited to be there. No problems dropping her off at the nursery at church…not that she comes home healthy all the time.
She can’t possibly be as precious to everyone else as she is to me, right? Last week we had our first altercation of sorts. We went to a playdate and an older girl (like barely 4) announced to me that she didn’t like Ava following her because she ran funny. It’s completely inappropriate for me to tell that kid where to stick it, I know…I didn’t…but how dare she! My perfect little peanut, who has been walking for a mere 3 1/2 months, and this little punk has issues with her track & field skills. Where the h(*& is your mother!
At some point, someone won’t want to be her friend. Someone will be mean to her. Someone will break her heart. I can’t stop that. The truly heartbreaking thing is that very likely, the first person to do that may be me. We now enter the portion of our lives together where she has to start to learn that she is not really the center of the universe…even if she is the center of mine.
My life has absolutely revolved around her for 730 days…well 730 days outside my body anyway. She is the best thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve done some pretty amazing things. She’s the most fabulous and intoxicating person I’ve ever known, and I’ve met some pretty awe-inspiring people. It’s entirely possible that she’s the only person I’ve ever met who was unassuming enough and kind and loving enough to be compared to Jesus and at this point wouldn’t even be phased by the compliment.
A young man from our church was killed last week and a memorial service was held for him on Monday (or Tuesday…I wasn’t there, so I’ve forgotten). He impacted his world in a way I never have. There was an altar call at the service and hundreds of his classmates and other young people who knew him gave up their lives for the one that Levi lived. In his honor, a bumper sticker was crafted saying “Be Like Levi, Live Like Jesus”…or something to that effect if I’ve misquoted. How proud his parents were of him in their sorrow. How heartbreaking to lose your baby.
Before Ava was born, before I was even pregnant with her, I used to say that I couldn’t understand certain things because the mother’s heart in me had not been activated. The switches had not been thrown, the ones that would make it impossible for me to hear songs about children growing up and moving away without reducing me to a puddle of tears and snot. The switches that would make it impossible to hear about children being abused or neglected or sold into sex slavery or committing suicide, without being close to sobbing. So often since her birth, Court finds me sniffling, sheepishly wiping away the tears…he pokes fun, gathers me up in his arms and lets me cry.
She’s only 2, but someday she will leave me. She’ll set off for her big life with the same open arms that she wraps around people’s legs now, with joy and abandon and trust…and I’ll have to sit on my hands and hold myself back from gathering up my baby, the one I had to wait 5 hours to hold when she was born, the one who was so tiny her hand was the size of a quarter and the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen.
Happy Birthday my little love…I’m so thankful Jesus lent you to me to take care of.