Little girls won't stay little forever.
It's hard to remember this sometimes, like when you just pray that they will fall asleep or learn how to go in the potty or stop putting food up their noses. But, it's true, they won't be young forever.
One day, we hope, our little girls will fall in love. Their dad will remember this day when he walked them down a wooden aisle as flower girls for the very first time. His memories of sweet kisses, giggles, and hand holding will surely bring him tears.
As parents, we pray now for the marriage they might have one day. A love that is pure. A partner to share not only a sink but a life together. A marriage that is not easily wind-blown but one where she and her man stand strong when storms arise.
But, until they say "I do," we will do our best to grow our little girls into young women. This girl-growing is ugly and lovely all at the same time. Growing is painful and stretches not only our bodies but our hearts and minds too. Raising little girls to love and be kind and treat others the way they want to be treated is not easy. No, it can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially on top of all the other responsibilities of raising little girls like washing clothes, packing lunches, and finding the lost shoe.
It's easy to wish for them to be a little more grown when these tired days come around. However, when we ask her on the drive to our alma mater if she wants to go to college and she says at three, "Yes, but not yet" we'd have to agree.
You will grow up, baby girls. But, not yet, okay?
Because I love how you sit at the top of the stairs way past your bedtime and call out my name, wanting me. I can't resist you nestled against my arm so I can adoringly gaze upon you, my baby that was once so small but now stretches out long beside me. I don't mind watching Rapunzel or The Little Mermaid or Doc McStuffins with you, especially when you want to sit beside me on the chair and you rest your head on my shoulder. I'm going to miss our evenings outside as we welcome daddy with all the glory of the homecoming parade. The smell of maple syrup on your skin after oatmeal for breakfast and the way your hair curls softly at your shoulders takes me to a happy place. Your laughter as we throw the frisbee makes all the tension in my head go away and I can't help but smile as I listen to your conversation with our dogs (your friends).
Oldest baby girl, you go ahead and sleep in your castle with your big girl panties on. Youngest baby girl, please build forts and scare away monsters for a very long time. You both make us melt when you twirl in a circle faster and faster until you all fall down.
There will be lots of falling down as you grow up.
Some falls are going to scrape knees and others are going to pierce your heart. It's okay to cry, I promise. The sting won't last forever. Getting back up might seem impossible but have faith that there is a light for your path. Believe. Dream. Dare yourself to love deeper, wider, longer, and higher than you've ever loved before. Be captivated by Jesus' love for you and allow his spirit to counsel you through the dark times.
If you need advice on life, ask your dad. Boy, is he good and wise. I'm sure the three of us will get in plenty of girl arguments as we grow up together but thankfully we all have him to keep us calm. Baby girls, no matter what we disagree about, there is one thing that we will always agree on: mama loves you. Always have, always will.
Raleigh, Maralee, Me, Adeline
Three years ago, the two of you changed the course of our lives. Since then, we've overcome obstacles, weathered some storms, and continue to be amazed at how precious life is. So much has happened in three years and I know there are so many more memories to make but right now, I want to rest in the right now. I don't want to live in the past or fantasize about the future; I want to be present in your present.
Because, little girls won't be little forever.
Till next time, let your light shine!