She’s 11 today; firstborn, darling daughter, dynamic and full of life.
At the end of last month I took her on a surprise trip, a #gracetrip. She had no idea. It was so hard not to tell her, but it was so worth it.
Hubby and I talked about taking each of our same gender kids on a trip around their 12th birthday. Well, I couldn’t wait one more year, so Darling and I left on a jet plane for sunny L.A. to visit Singing Sis, her Rocking Hubby and my mom joined us too.
My tendency is to over-think and over-plan things. While we had a jam-packed, thrilling time on the West Coast, I learned more from observing and getting better in tune with Darling Daughter; just being there and having a large quantity of time together.
The last few days she has said, “You’re just not listening to me.”
Ouch. I want to be a better listener—to hear about the things that move her, madden her and make her laugh.
She is hovering.
This in-between stage is both expected and unpredictable.
It can be breath-taking yet it sometimes leaves you gasping for air.
One minute she snuggles in close and the next she takes off running towards the water’s edge.
One moment she makes eye contact and the other she avoids my corrective gaze.
This in be-tween age is both exhilarating and terrifying.
It can be fragrant and other times it is just downright stinky.
One minute she plans to buy a horse and then the next she whispers that a boy is cute.
One morning she remembers the deodorant and the next day she can’t find her shoes.
She is emerging.
As the tide rolls in she runs toward the depths.
I wade in slowly, safely clinging to the shore; familiar level ground.
She laughs easily and her eyes shine with anticipation as she willingly faces the waves.
I call her back closer in order to avoid the uncertainty of what may surface.
As her legs lengthen and her curves begin she finds her own gait as she ventures out further.
I feel the tug on my heartstrings that I must let out the slack or watch the cord break.
She gets her feet wet as she splashes through this terrain, searching for treasure.
I remember my water-splashing days and I feel stuck between carefree and fear.
She is becoming.
As the minutes race by she drinks it in, ready to fly but not ready to leave.
I am faced with the reality of this transition, from little girl to young lady, in a blink.
She is finding her voice, improving her style and looking back to see if we approve.
There is no going back to what once was, but what is before us is not yet fully revealed.
As she longs to linger I call her back, reminding her that there will be other times to swim.
My job is not done but it is shifting as we walk this stretch together.
We both carry a different style of courage…hers in the reaching for what’s beyond, mine in the letting go of what’s before.
We laugh and learn as we get our feet wet. We stumble and fumble as we meet the coming tide.
This time came quicker than my heart was prepared for, this transition into becoming.
Happy Birthday Darling Daughter! I love you so. You are becoming; beautifully.
Also linking up with Meredith for Woman 2 Woman and Kristin for Three Word Wednesday.
Susan Shipe says
Beautifully written. My darling daughter and I took many solo trips as she grew up and I could relate with your sentiments and emotions! Just last week, my DD turned 46 – you know what? We still take trips and we still talk every single day! I love hearing her share her daily epiphanies and revelations as the Holy Spirit reveals new wonders to her daily. Visiting via RaRa!
Katie Reid says
Thank you Susan- love that you still take trips together!
Kristin Taylor says
This is beautiful. I love the idea of taking a trip together. My girl is turning 8 in less than a month and for the first time in motherhood I’m wanting to slow down time.
What a beautiful birthday tribute to your dear daughter. Reading this, I’m sure she’ll grow to be a great, beautiful lady. For she has you to guide her and take care of her.
Happy birthday to your daughter. 🙂
Carmen Horne says
Oh Katie I have a daughter of my own – only child. I so get this. My girl is 29 now and we still have those times where she snuggles in close and then other times when she looks at me like mom, are you crazy. I am grown. Beautiful friend. Brought tears this morning. Blessings. Glad we were neighbors at Holly’s.
Samantha Landrus says
Oh, I am walking in such a similar season. My beloved daughter just started her behind the wheel training. She is going to Mexico on a Mission trip -BY HERSELF!!!!_ this summer. I am realizing what a helicopter mommy I have been. The wisdom to know when to cut strings is tough, but string by string, I am watching my little girl transform into a beautiful young woman. It’s precious and heartbreaking all at the same time. You’re doing a great job mom! Even in the stinky moments, I can assure you she is listening and treasuring the nuggest of wisdom you are giving her. Thank you for sharing your heart! I can’t wait to come back and visit again soon!
So beautiful, Katie and what observations of your girl. I have a twelve year old son and the age is so precious, in faith and in life. I sometimes want to wrap him up, hold him close, and stick him in a bubble. 🙂 But God writes these incredible stories on their lives and they are just learning to lean into Him and walk with Him and discover what that looks like for real. Its terrifying and beautiful all at the same time. Happy Birthday to your girl! Swinging by from #threewordwednesday.
Kelly Balarie says
How sweet is this? I loved hearing how your whole weekend played out Katie. It seems like she is becoming a beautiful woman. Great job dear mother; the job is not easy. Loved your words. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.
oh my! This is beautiful! My heartaches because I know that this is around the corner for us. I pray that I navigate these times well and with grace.