Saturday, April 25, 2015

The 8

This time next week, my oldest child will be making her First Holy Communion. The day after that, she'll turn eight years old. I'll have an eight year old. I'm still trying to let that sink in.

There's something about that first kid, isn't there? I look at her and I see the event that changed my life in the most miraculous and mundane ways. Having a baby is far from a rarity; most people do it. But within this most commonplace of things is the bringing forth of a new human person; unique and unrepeatable.

This firstborn showed me my imperfections and selfishness. She gave me so many opportunities to begin learning how to joyfully serve others. This one little person caused me to learn American Sign Language and moved us to a new city which we now love.

Gianna is up to my shoulders now, she's thoughtful and talkative and a night owl. She's always worried about missing out on something.

She is having some trouble seeing at night. She is excited to get her service dog, "February!!" She tells anyone who asks. She is so patient with her siblings; generally tolerant of reading them stories over and over. How can it be that this tiny baby is now so big? How can it be that she has overcome so many challenges? How can it be that she will have many more?

How can it be, that she is mine? There are times she makes me lose my patience, times when she exhausts me, times when I cannot sleep for worrying. But there are still so many times that I look at her and am amazed. There are so many thoughts and dreams in the head of an eight year old. It seems that, year after year, Gianna is being slowly revealed to me. I am beginning to see the complexities of her person. How incredible that this person who grew within me is so different; so her own. I love learning more about her every year.

She's the one who made me a mother and who has brought me tears and laughter. She's the one who has challenged my faith and strengthened it. She's the one who has brought me through adventures I never even knew to dream of. Here's to being eight!
8 months old
perilously close to 8 years old

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