Thursday, October 11, 2012

My {number one} Girl

Bethany turned 8 at the beginning of September. These days are flying by, it seems like only months ago she was our beautiful newborn baby girl that we couldn't stop staring at. She is special, they are all special but each for different reasons. After all, that's what makes them special.

Bethany is special because she is our first and she does nothing but amaze us. Since the moment she was born she has amazed us. God has used her to teach me so much. I am thankful for her life.
She is such apart of Joe and I, I went into labor with her on our first anniversary, it's like she has been with us since the beginning of our marriage. I relate with her so much, she and I are alike in many ways. When we are hanging out and goofing off, I feel like I'm with an old friend, with my sister.
This past year has been a busy year for her, full of new accomplishments. She learned how to ride her bike, she got baptized, she became the big sister for the fourth time, she started home school choir and is learning a song in french, she lost her two front teeth and got new ones, she made new friends, she is learning multiplication, she got her own library card, she has changed and is changing. I'm not sure that I even know how much she is changing.
 She is growing deep inside, there is a work going on that God is doing. I don't understand it, but I trust God. As all parents, if we could spare our child from struggle and hardship we would, but we can't. It's not the way it can be, and I would add not the way it's supposed to be. We do so much in shaping our kids, in molding them, in protecting them, in providing for their needs. We create their environment, we nurture them with what we believe and what we know. God gives us this unique baby and as they grow we do our best to encourage their God given abilities and desires. God sees the whole picture, He knows the outcome, and ultimately He is one that creates and shapes. He is divinely at work, in the small, in the everyday, in the struggles He is creating. I recently realized that already, at 8 years old, I have to teach my daughter to trust in Jesus, to know that we can always depend on Him, that though no one else understands, God does.
 It is freeing to her and I both so acknowledge that I don't have all the answers, I don't understand everything either. That I can't always fix her problems and neither can she with out God.
Bethany is responsible and deep. She carries the world on her shoulders, more than most 8 year olds. She thinks and studies, she tries to understand and comprehend the "Why's" of this life. It pains Joe and I to see her fret and worry, we tell her often to enjoy being a kid and not worry about big people stuff. I know that God made her this way and that it has good in it as well.
 She can be really serious sometimes, so when she is goofy and silly my heart gets lighter. When I hear her bounding down the steps or laughing carefree I can't help but smile inside. Some kids are always being crazy and some one is always telling them to be serious, pay attention, sit still; not Bethany. She is the one who is quiet and reserved in new places and with new people. She is hesitant to make friends, reluctant to draw attention to herself.
Some of her reservations and hesitations have increased lately and though I wish they hadn't, I see them as normal. I felt fine with her turning 8 until I recently read that the age bracket for a tween is 8-12. Really? I just sat and stared at it. 10-12 I could understand but 8? A tween? The more I thought about it though the more I realized, she is not in the same place that she was at 6 and 7. Mentally and emotionally, she is changing. This is all so new to me, I've never had an 8 year old before.
She loves to swing and she loves to read. She loves to cut out paper dolls from magazines, she loves crafting things, she still loves tearing up paper into tiny little pieces. She loves Brady {he makes her laugh}, she loves getting Anne dressed and changing her diapers. She loves shopping, she loves comfortable clothes, she loves pink, she loves butterflies, she loves listening to praise and worship music. She loves using big words, even when she doesn't know what they mean. she loves to find out what words mean. She loves writing letters, she loves being the oldest. She loves Joseph, she told me the other day, "Cause he's my buddy, you know. We've been together forever and he asks me questions and I tell him the answers. We talk alot about stuff. We're big buddies." She loves cooking and helping. She loves Jenna, they play imaginary things, like Tangled, or vet, or as Jenna said the other day "ordinary people." She loves being independent.
Joseph found my old cell phone from almost 2 years ago. He found the charger and charged it up. Bethany, Joseph and Jenna were all excited and couldn't wait to have their own phone, they didn't realize they couldn't make and receive calls. For a moment they were disappointed but not for long, soon they were playing ring tones, taking pictures and making videos. They took it on our camping trip and made, I don't know how many, videos of themselves. The other morning I heard some one playing the videos, in the bathroom, at 4 in the morning. I just knew it was Jenna. I opened the door, with the video being so loud, I realized someone was bursting in laughter. It was Bethany. She was watching her silly self singing and cracking up. I was shocked, never would have guessed she would be the one. I couldn't be mad, although I did take the phone away and send her back to bed.
As we were taking time to take pictures I asked her how she felt about her life and she said, "You mean like naturally or literally?" That is what I mean about using big words in ways that don't make sense. After we took pictures I told her we would go somewhere to get a treat, like ice cream or something. She wanted to go to the candy store at the mall. I told her not the mall because I didn't have on make up. She later said, "Well, what about Target? Is that an appropriate place to go without make-up?"
 I love her.
Those three little words hold more passion and emotion that I could ever begin to describe.
Everyday I've gotten to be her mom has been a gift. She and I are learning together. I teach her and she teaches me. We're half way to 16, how did that happen? I thought 8 years was so much longer than this.
She asked me why I had to take her pictures and I told her because one day I will want to remember what she looked like when she was 8. I want to be able to look at her pictures and feel like I can touch her 8 year old self again.
 Thank you God for giving us Bethany. She is awesome!!


~Mamma~ said...

Beautifully said.
I love you too Bethany. I once had an 8 yr. old much like you. ;)
I miss her sometimes, but she is now a beautiful Mom and a dear friend. She now gets to experience the joys of motherhood like I did and I get to enjoy the JOYS of being your Grandmother. :)

Lyndsay Taylor said...

AH, what a great blog post! She will cherish this. :) I love the first picture so much!! Your photo-blogging inspires me!