Sunday

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!


It was Kristen who first gave voice to the thought.

"I want a baby sister, and her name will be Mary." She had been taking stock of the families with whom we went to church and had decided that something significant was missing from ours.  Everyone had a sibling but her. We agreed that it was a sad state of affairs.

We gave her a baby doll for Christmas, whom she promptly named. . . Mary. As if reading our minds, she looked us squarely in the eyes and said, ". . . just until the real Mary gets here."

"We'll have to pray and ask God to give us a baby," we told her. In her typical no-nonsense way, she was on it. Each night at bedtime she prayed, "Dear God, please send us a baby sister named Mary."

Several months later I wrote in my journal, "The night we found out about the baby, I think David called everyone from church to tell them. Kristen talks to the baby and prays for her.  We pray that she will be healthy, and that she will always love Jesus."

Over nineteen years have passed since those days of anticipation and joy. The years are filled with mental snapshots that flutter past like swiftly turning pages in the photo album of life.

A chubby cheeked, sweet-natured infant gazing up with amazement at her big sister.

A nine-month old cherub with a big pink bow on her bald little head as we handed her over to a team of doctors who would place tubes in her tiny little ears.

A serious little girl with a Dutch boy haircut selling lemonade by the side of the road.

A slender six-year old learning to swim with big gruff Coach Irwin whose voice always got softer and kinder when he spoke to "the little people."

A blonde adolescent, all arms and legs smiling through braces of every imaginable size and shape.

A lovely teen ager, becoming more and more beautiful, collecting friends everywhere she went.

And now. . .

I still see hints of the chubby cheeks and the laughing eyes, but they belong to a young woman who is becoming as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She is growing in wisdom, grace, compassion, and faith. I have fewer opportunities to stroke her silky hair or plant a kiss on her soft cheek, but my prayer for her every day is the same as it has been for over nineteen years,

 "Lord, take care of her, keep her healthy, and may she always love Jesus."

Happy Birthday, sweet girl.  I love you!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Our kids have grown up TOO fast right in front of our eyes!
    Happy Belated Birthday Mary Leigh:)
    Susie

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