In two weeks we will be celebrating her birthday for the third time….not counting the day she was born. We have been in reunion for only two and a half years.
After my other children were born, I would always wonder and hope that someday when they were adults that we would be good friends. I had always considered my own mom a friend when I became an adult. I knew that friendship between parent and child had to be cultivated. I would need to at some point be able to switch off the “I know more than you” button. I would need to be able to allow them to have their own opinions and ideas. And now that they are all adults, I feel like that friendship has grown and is still growing. I know I can call any of them anytime and chat.
I can also depend on them to give me honest and caring counsel when I ask for it-sometimes even if I do not. And sometimes they are right. I do listen and consider. They are smart people! And best of all they are believers and their truth is what they find in scripture as they yield to God’s direction in their lives. They are such blessings.
What I did not expect or ever dream was that I could be friends with my first daughter! This friendship was not cultivated by me. Not only did I not plan for this friendship, I never saw it coming. How does she already know me so well? She knows when I’m sad or worried. She can even tell in a phone call if I’m “off” even a little.
Last week for my sixtieth birthday all my daughters-my best friends in the world celebrated with me. I could see this was quite an amazing trip. All these women-sisters-my sweet daughters. All so different and alike. The conversations fun, serious and some very deep, as they shared their lives with each other and what God was doing in each of their hearts. I sat back in wonder, honestly. We laughed so much. There was no drama. Each one putting each other ahead of themselves, lifting each other up. Not even a complaint-unless you count the complaints about stupid covid and masks.
The trip was not without tears, though. We shared some hard things. It was not without its awkward moments. There was concern about talking about childhood memories, because they didn’t want their newest sister to feel left out. And she expressed feeling like she was being a “mom-hog”. It was definitely emotionally exhausting, especially for my first, as she tried to see where she fit with these 4 sisters.
Then on the second day, while shopping we took an ice cream break. The topic turned to girls, puberty, and how some of us were late bloomers because of running. I made the comment that I should have run more. I immediately tried to grab those words back and shove them back in my mouth but there they were. My sweet girl told me it was okay-no one wants to be pregnant when they are 16. But my words had stung. I was so mad at myself. I had just ruined the whole weekend, I was sure of it. It was an awkward afternoon of her trying to hide the fact that she was hurt and me expecting her to be angry. But once again she forgave me and we had a good talk, not without a few tears, before we went to sleep.
I’ve thought a lot about my teenage self. I don’t like so much about myself. I was so legalistic and I thought obeying rules was being a “good Christian.” I failed as I tried to live in my own strength. I let fear of rejection guide my thoughts and actions. Some would say my consequence was getting pregnant, but I do not believe babies are consequences. They are blessings-always blessings. Yet, I definitely regret the timing of that pregnancy which resulted in me not getting to raise her. If I could change that, of course I would want to live my life God’s way. God knew my heart. He answered my prayers that she would know and love Him. She seems to know my heart, too. She somehow knows my fears and my regrets and how my mommy heart hurts. She is a blessing. She was the moment I knew of her existence.
Something I realized that weekend we celebrated my sixtieth and I shared with her-when I was 16 and pregnant I didn’t realize I was giving birth to my best friend.
God has given me more than I could ever imagine and more than I could ever deserve. He is rich in mercy and grace and He has so generously bestowed them on me in His great love.
kp Jan 2021