Today my oldest child turned eight. Eight! I know it's hard to really comprehend this when you hear someone say it -- it's hard for me to "get" it when other mothers say this about their children -- but she really was just a newborn. I still remember her tiny baby self. And, oh! The delicious toddler that she was! She filled my heart with joy every single day.... Except for the times when I wanted to rip my hair out in frustration, looking at this intense little person who was demanding that I step up and be a better mother, a better person, my best self. She still demands this of me every day. And I'm so grateful for it.
I've already written about my feelings of grief about her growing up. Two years ago, at six, she was still very much in that "early childhood" place. Not so today. Today she is a big girl who can cook, sew a straight seam, and make hilarious sarcastic comments.
My pride and frustration in her both continue to overwhelm me at times. But mostly pride. This girl is beautiful, gracious, reverent, funny, compassionate, determined, thoughtful, innocent, intelligent, and, frankly, the most amazing person I know. Eight years ago, I fell in love with her in a way I never expected. And today, I love her so much more.
Happy, happy day, lovely Elisabeth.