The Eve of Sixteen

I say it every year and I have no intention of stopping now, my babies are growing up after all and be still my heart.  This Mama is punch love drunk over her babies, all four of them and on this eve of the eldest Thing turning sixteen I am dizzy over these years.

 A road traveled unknowingly at first.  So young we were, little experience and no road map or navigation system.  I can throw the clichés around and spin the stories.  There are no words infinite enough to grasp this Mama's heart.  To pin it down or define it.  Bursting.  Aching.  Feeling the rawness times one thousand.  Learning as we go and the first, well the first is sometimes also the most challenging.  Uncharted waters and roads with curves and hills one could not have expected.  Yet, now there is a guide.  And there is grace.  Above all there is love.  Thank God there is love.  Love that covers mistakes.  Love that envelops and dries tears.  Love that refines.  Love that disciplines.  Love blind.  Love that doesn't understand why.  And love.  Mama's love. 

When your eldest child reaches a milestone all the milestones before come rushing in.  First step.  First smile.  First word.  First lost tooth.  First book read.  First time saying " I love you".  First time reaching for me.  First time needing me.  First day of school.  First heart break.  First fight.  First loss.  First bad grade.  First late night study session.  First late night cry session.  All the firsts.  All the lasts.  All the change.  It floods the mind and the heart.  Causing me to pause.  Making this heart skip a beat.  Inspiring gratitude.  For it all.  ALL of it.  The journey we are traveling together.  One memory stone at  a time.

So on the eve of sixteen I am remembering.  Looking back.  Knowing that for now we have this moment and the privilege of remembering those past.  For the road ahead that leads to places we can't imagine.  Even for the bumps and road blocks.   For the smooth patches too.  Yes, even the in between. 

Sixteen.  The mere letters spelling that number out cause my jaw to drop.  There it is.  She is turning sixteen.  In all of her beauty.  Her hopes.  Her dreams.  The quirks.  The quietness.  The unknown.  The future.  Her love.  Her kisses before bed.  Her smile.  Her strength that she is so unaware of.  The walls that have been built and all the while being torn down.  The beautiful mess.  All the inside stuff.  What she does when she thinks no one is watching.  The gifts given from God.  The Jesus relationship she is building.  The driving.  The independence.  Life lessons. Learning. 

Shall we walk this road a bit longer?  Navigate the waters and ride the waves.  Stopping to remember and pausing before we inch forward.  Let's.  We'll go together into the next sixteen.  Heaping love upon grace and learning as we wade through. 

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