Monday, July 22, 2013


So. She turned nine, which means I have now been on this journey of motherhood for nine years, too. I remember clearly the night she was born. I labored hard for twenty two hours before they finally placed her in my arms and I became a mother for the very first time. Of course she was perfect, all pink skinned and blinky eyed. The love was instant, but the confidence that 'I could do this' took time. At twenty one years old, I wasn't ready for all that becoming a mother would require of me. I wasn't ready to be up all night (because someone had to watch her to make sure that she kept breathing), and I wasn't prepared for all of the time and the energy and the sacrifice that goes into growing and nurturing a tiny person. Most days I felt inadequate, a girl who still needed her mother, instead of being the girl who was the mother.

But the love was always there, the constant that kept me going, determined to get this mothering thing right.

And over the years that blinky eyed girl turned into an inquisitive toddler, and then a precious preschooler, and now she stands before me, stunning, at nine years old and reminds me that we are halfway through our journey of being mother and daughter. And then I remind her that our journey together is not half over. She very well may leave our home in nine more years, but I will be her mother forever and ever, no matter how old she gets.

Some days I still feel inadequate. Our issues are no longer how to get that pink skinned baby girl to sleep through the night, but rather how to get our growing girl to always walk in the light. Gone are the days where I just wanted silence, and in their place have come days of teaching our daughter to use her voice for good. To speak boldly for the Lord. The fragile, innocent infant is no more, and in her place now stands our nine year old girl. Her heart is still fragile, but her body and mind are strong. Her innocence slowly being stolen by the sin in this world. And most days I feel like a mess. I am too strict on some things, frustrated when I should have been patient. I don't spend enough time investing in her life, and I use the words 'not now' and 'later' far more than I should. I blink and she's another inch taller and another month has passed us by. And I just want to go back. Back to the days where she was my baby. But time has taught me that there are no do overs. There is only today.

So today, I do the very best that I can. Today, I hug her a little bit tighter and for a little bit longer. Today, I look her in the eyes when she speaks to me and I care about the things that she cares about. Today, I laugh at her jokes. Today, I don't say 'later'. Today, I love her nine year old self with all that I have. 

And together, we journey on.

Happy ninth birthday to the girl who made me a mother. There is no one else that I would rather journey with.

1 comment:

Connie Matics said...

Kendra: I am so glad you blog is back online. I have missed it. You write so beautifully and I love the mature woman you are growing into (no, I did not mean "old"!) You are so right when you say today won't come again. Spend the time with your kids and husband now. You are doing great even though you may feel inadequate at times. Everyone does. I only wish Jayden had a mother like you. I love you--Aunt Connie