In less than one month I will have a ten-year-old.
We are entering into the world of double-digits fast.
I think it was the wise words of Kelly Rippa that I first heard about how parenting your first child is like making the first pancake of the batch. You're not totally sure if the consistency is right or the heat might be a little too high or low. How long do you keep it on the heat? So much to figure out with that one. But usually, things get worked out and (generally speaking) the overall batch comes out ok.
Ava is my first little pancake. I have learned a lot along the way and we are only nearly ten years in. We have grown up a lot together. She has lived in three different states in her ten years. She is fiery and fierce and tender and creative and thoughtful. And she is halfway to being twenty years old.
When I was pregnant my prayer for her is that she would be strong and healthy. And she really is, both strong and healthy. Very much so. I didn't know enough to pray about having a child who likes to sleep, but God in His goodness had our back in that regard. #thankful
As I look ahead to the next year of life for our girl my heart goes out to her as I remember the tumult of those tween years. Bouncing between feeling too big and too little, and not sure if I really fit in anywhere. What I have learned over the years is that most adults are still looking for a sense of belonging and semi-regularly feel like they are on the outside, rather than one of the cool kids safely secured and surrounded by adoring friends. I have been doing some summer reading and I have learned how important this desire to belong is, I mean I knew it mattered, but it is literally one of the strongest instincts we have as humans. I think is why middle school is so tough because everyone desperately wants to belong and no one really knows who they are yet. Thankfully adults are super healthy and secure and we don't deal with this at all.
So I continue my prayer for my girl to be strong and healthy. And I would add to it that she would be someone who is willing to make room for others and be compassionate as she finds her place in the world. To be someone who will continue to grow in the ways of Jesus and follow Him. That she would love others well and cheer others on. That she would not get caught up or buy into the ideas of the world about her worth or value, but that she would be secure in who she is and how wonderfully she is created. And that we would lead her and love her well, that we would treat her heart well EVEN when it is difficult.
As we move into this new territory I am happy and sad. Excited about what is to come, but sad to leave behind where we have been. And I think that is parenting, sometimes. Happy and sad at the same time, in the words of Kacey Musgraves.
T E N. Let's do this.