So today is my youngest daughter’s second birthday. It has been a day of simply sitting back and drinking in the sheer joy that she brings to me; of seeing the excitement on her face when she picks a daisy in the park and then looks up and realises there are a hundred more; of being able to say ‘yes’ to what she wants to do because with her Daddy on a day off at home too, it’s so much easier to juggle school and home and naps and essential housework and all the busyness of everyday family life!
And this evening it struck me that I have never thought about what my birthday means/ meant to either of my parents. Because my daughters’ birthdays are special, precious days when I relive again those hours of labour and the sheer exuberant satisfaction and gladness at their births. I pick through the stages of their development, the memories of tiny fingers and toes, down-covered shoulders and that sweet evocative smell of new tiny person. I remember the deep calmness during feeding, regardless of whatever else was going in, when for a few minutes (or an hour!) all was right with that world as I held my daughter and she snuggled into me, wanting only me and only I could provide what she needed. The first steps to independence, of their realisation that the world was much bigger than themselves and the continual excitement of seeing their new discoveries.
And I am so thankful, so glad, and so humbled to see them growing up – and terrified I’m getting it wrong, and wishing that it would slooooooowwwww down because how is my baby girl two today, and my big girl turning five in just six short weeks?
So birthdays are special days – I suppose their birthdays were also my birth(ing) days. And the days which brought about the biggest change to me as well. I feel sometimes that as I try to navigate this maze of parenting these two amazing girls who are without doubt God-given, there are moments in amongst the seemingly chaotic mayhem when I get a glimpse of what the parent/ child relationship was designed to be – a reflection of God’s love for us, of His unconditional love and delight in us. And I can only have one response-to say thank you.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Psalms 136:1 NLT)