In just a couple months, my oldest child will turn ten years old. When I think about it, a knot forms in the pit of my stomach. Her time living under my roof is, possibly, more than half over. And, when I think about how fast the last ten years have gone, I can hardly breathe.
I worry that I haven’t done enough to prepare her for the world she must face. My heart hurts when I think about things that she will, most likely, endure.
Consequences of bad choices.
Betrayal of friends.
Life can be stinkin’ hard and, as much I long to protect her, there are things that will come her way. Things that even a mother’s love can’t prevent and Barbie band-aids can’t fix. All I can tell her is to fall hard on Jesus and to trust in his love for her. That is one thing I can find solace in – that girl loves her some Jesus.
Lately, she and I have had some great conversations. She has hard questions and deep thoughts and big dreams. I’m embarrassed by how many times I answer her questions with, “I don’t know.” There are days when I feel completely inadequate and it seems like a crazy number of women are doing this mothering thing far better. Then, I see all of my girls cuddled together under one blanket watching cartoons and I feel beyond blessed that he entrusted me with the task of mothering these particular little ones. Me, the nail-biting introvert prone to fear and anxiety, surrounded by tiny people who think I can do anything.
The truth is that I can’t do anything.
I don’t know everything.
But, what I do know, I want them to know too. For instance:
- People matter.
- Past mistakes do not define you.
- Do something that scares you.
- Be yourself.
- Laugh out loud as often as you can.
- Keep in touch with old friends.
- Always be open to making new friends.
- Don’t have preconceived notions about who can be a friend.
- People can be mean. Love them anyway.
- Don’t ever be too busy.
- Find a reason to celebrate every day.
- Be brave.
- Be a forgiver and a grace giver.
- Don’t be ashamed of your story. Someone needs to hear it.
- You’re never too old to play.