Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dear God, and Dear Caroline

Dear God,
Thank you so much for the blessing of Caroline in our lives. Thank you for 4 healthy years. Thank you for choosing us to be her parents, for the amazing growth we've had as a family since she was born 4 years ago.

God, there's just so much to talk to you about with Caroline. God I have so many hopes for her. Please continue to pave a path for Caroline, opening the doors for her in the places we should lead her. Please keep giving us wisdom as her parents, and grant us patience as we face challenges. God Caroline is Big. I pray that this next year you help us each to take a step toward each other to solve problems. Please God help us to teach Caroline what it means to yield, without squashing the beautiful, strong spirit that makes her so unique. God please help us to pour compassion into Caroline so that her leadership qualities feel more like leading and less like bossiness. God please occupy Caroline's heart and mind with your ways, and help her to grow as a reflection of Christ in this world.

God you know Caroline's changed everything about everything. As it is with a first child, she'll always be the very first page our book about parenthood. Please bless her God with the abundance this life you designed can offer.


Dear Caroline,

Oh Caroline. It's been a year sweet wild child. This year we moved into our home on Drawbridge, and you've been in 3 day 3's at the MCC at FUMC - Cary. Your teachers are Ms. Crystal and Ms. Amy. You have a letter of the week and ALL YEAR you've been waiting for letter P so you could take in a couple of your purses. You take ballet on Tuesday mornings with Ms. Sarah at Graceful Expressions, your favorite leotard is "elsa blue" and you were Tinkerbell for Halloween. Your favorite sitters are Ms. Lindsey and Ms. Madeline. You'd like to be a dentist one day. You say a dentist would be good because you could be a mom and a dentist, and you'd help people with their teeth. You moved into a big girl bed, your hair finally started really growing, and you're 100% cured of any form of shyness that previously existed. Your favorites: the color gold, macaroni and cheese, ovaltine in milk, dresses and skirts, Cousin Drew, Sophia the First, Call Me Maybe, Shake it Off and Joy to the World. You love craft projects, painting, making bracelets for your friends, manicures and pedicures, singing, dancing, taking showers, going to the dentist, all things princess, working in the yard with your dad, wildflowers, sunflowers, potting flowers, talking on the phone, taking care of baby dolls, tea parties, adventures with Aunt Rhonda and playing dress up. You're not allowed to wear clippity clop shoes on the stairs.

Ready for this sister? You have a husband. You met him while building snowmen together in Africa. His name is Jerry and you have 5 children: Tomcat, Snoopy, Paisley and Abby and Ellie (the twins). Jerry is a referee for Major League Soccer, and Tomcat is currently away at boarding school. Tomcat and Snoopy love to climb trees.  We were watching the World Cup this year and you saw Jerry on TV. You said he was playing soccer, but pointed to the ref. I told you that he was actually a ref and that the ref doesn't play during the game, he just makes sure everyone follows the rules. You laughed, put your hand on your hip and said "oh, that sounds just like Jerry."  You have your old "married dress" and your "married ring" and you bring them out from time to time to show your "trildren". Y'all had a dog, Soapy, who you lost this year. You came down one day after nap and told me he'd passed away. Sometimes when we're out, you'll look around for a minute and ask where Jerry went. Most of the family imagines with you and plays along. It's wonderful and amazing sweet CC, and I absolutely love this world you've built. I'm sure it'll be going away before too long, and I'll be sad when it does.

One night this year we were praying and at the end of your prayer you said "God bless mommy and daddy, Caroline and that ugly little baby and Baxter and all of our family and all of our friends." You were referring to Kate honey. And didn't skip a beat.

I asked you to clean up your booster and your drink the other day and you burst into "It's a Hard Knock Life" - from Annie. What? How do you think so fast?!

Catchphrases: Actually, Here's the Deal, calling dad "Chief" or "Boss",  Boom Goes the Cannon, You'll get over it, What in the World.

CC you're a handful my child. You love to talk, and have a hard time knowing when to just listen. You have 100 ideas every single day and the energy to do most of them. You're not a huge fan of cleaning up. You insist upon picking out your own clothing - you're opposed to ruffles, zippers, ruching, objectionable buttons, pleats and layers. UNLESS they're on a tutu or an otherwise highly-desirable article of clothing. You hate putting your head under water and really fuss over wearing tennis shoes. You stomp, and pout, and say "I'm So Mad" on the regular. Here's what Ms. Pat (2's teacher) told me about you. She said "Caroline's a leader - but leadership without compassion is bossiness, so just keep teaching compassion, and she's going to be great". And I believe it. So, you little nut job, I keep trying, I keep showing the boundaries around manners, etiquette and healthy living, and praying that I'm getting them right.

You know what I see when I look at you Caroline? I see your amazing imagination, your love of life, your endless energy, your sweet words that seem to sometimes come out of nowhere, and an amazing depth that's much much greater than your 4 years should allow. Keep up the wild life little C, it looks good on you.

I love you so much it hurts.