Well, here we are again. June 3...the anniversary of the day that permanently changed our lives. This year marks your 2,190th day on Planet Earth. Each one of those days has brought us an event, milestone, comment, conversation, attitude, or delight we've never experienced before.
Your father and I used to joke that the first born child was the experimental one that ends up getting the most messed up because the parents have no idea what they are doing. Your father and I are both firstborns and speak from experience. (We are kidding of course...we are perfect results of perfect parenting.)
Sometimes you and I go toe to toe, in a major way. And I don't like that. Its something I need to work on. And I'm trying. Someday when you read this, please know that I don't like that I'm short tempered and non-sympathetic. God is working that out of me.
When you and I aren't arguing, I can best describe you as "delightful." We couldn't be more proud of you. I tend to get caught up in the things you've "accomplished," like the fact that you've stayed in "green" all year long at school (aside from that one day you bonked a kid in the head with your resting mat thinking you were being funny and then the substitute teacher moved your clothespin directly from green to red...you like to pretend that day never happened). Or that you can read ANYTHING that crosses your path (sometimes that's frustrating because you are so easily distracted by the constant barrage of text - billboards, road signs, storefronts, flyers, you name it, you read it). Or that your past two progress reports and report cards have been perfect. Or that you can draw better than I can.
But what's way more important is the way your integrity and character are developing. You have such an innate sense of right and wrong and express your principles and ideals very articulately. Lately you've overheard your father and I using words like "hate" and "stupid" with less discretion than we did in the past ("I hate this commercial! That was so stupid!") Your response to this was, "I don't know why you guys think its okay to say so many bad words lately, but I think its really wrong..." And you're right, we need to curtail that.
And you love God so much that it often puts me to shame. You're learning that not everyone in the world believes the way we do and at times its confusing to you. But you're navigating it with grace and conviction rather than meanness and judgment.
You're an empathetic, tenderhearted little girl who frequently declares, "Mom...I love everyone in the world - even the people who are mean to me." And I really believe that to be true. After an incident at school with some mean girls, we talked it through and ended with a prayer. Yours went like this:
Thank you for all my friends at school. Please help the people who are mean. And help the bullies to start being nice and be with okay with what's going on inside of them.
Not a word was uttered about your own pain or hurt. Instead, you petitioned on behalf of those who lashed out at you. I didn't learn that lesson until I was in my mid 20s. You're years ahead of the game.
You feel life very deeply (just like your daddy). Frequent tears of sorrow and tears of joy constantly remind us of this.
Last night as we tucked you into bed, we recounted June 3, 2004 and how special that day was because it changed our lives and taught us how to love more deeply than we ever had before. By the end of the story, tears illuminated your beautiful blue eyes, now rimmed in red. "I'm crying because I'm just so happy!" you sobbed.
Kayla, you have no idea how many milestones in your life, statements you've made, accomplishments you've completed, hugs you've given that have caused me do the same.
You are and continue to be "pure joy."
Mommy & Daddy