faith · family · parenting

commitments to my second daughter

MiriamMiriam was born on Monday, April 27th at 10:04 am. She weighed 8 lbs and was 20″ long. We are so filled with joy and wonder and gratitude for this beautiful gift and humility in getting to participate in the raising of a little girl into a mature strong woman of God.

And it’s because I know the gravity of being a mom already, watching my now 18-month-old growing up rapidly in front of my eyes, I take this time to write out some thoughts just for Miriam.

Being the only girl in my family, with two older brothers, I never really knew what it was like to be compared. From other girls I know, it’s apparently a thing. I can feel it happening already starting some time around the second trimester when we started telling people that baby 2 was also a girl. All the comments came out – they will be best friends. You have all the girl clothes and toys. Baby 2 will have some shoes to fill! All the worries too – what if she isn’t as happy as Naomi is? What if she isn’t as pretty?

It’s so easy to get trapped into the comparison game, isn’t it? We all do it. I have a few friends with babies around Naomi’s age and even those parents whose kids are older – we start down the conversation trap of what they did when and if that’s “advanced” or not. The only thing I know for sure is that you just aren’t going to get Naomi to do anything before she wants to. and I love that about her already. She is her own girl and while she does listen and obey most of the time, she also has very definite opinions and has already started expressing them clearly.

And now with a sister, things will get really interesting. I already find myself saying things like she isn’t as chubby or she didn’t have as much hair. Innocent comments enough, right? But I become more and more conscious of how these comments, made without any ill intent, might sound to a young person. I start training myself to be more aware of the things people say around my girls. They understand more than we think at an early age, I’m sure of it. And I don’t want either of my girls to pick up any bad thinking patterns or feel like everything about them is up for scrutiny all the time.

So I make the promise to consciously choose not to compare you, Miriam, to your sister. You will be your own girl too. I want nothing more than for you to feel free and loved no matter what you do or don’t do. I love you no less than your sister and no more. You are equally, fully, completely loved by me and your father for always. I will always listen to you and make time just for you, just as I will for Naomi. I will always strive to make you feel heard and cared about, that you will have as much of a voice as your sibling and are just as important to me. I will help both of you to become courageous and strong, making wise decisions while taking good risks to try new things and explore all the wonders of the world. I will encourage you to make your own way and find what you love most, regardless of what your sister does. And I will promise to set no expectations of you based on Naomi or what I think you should be doing. You set your own pace and I promise to always give you every available resource I can to help you along the way.

And just like I do for Naomi, I pray for you daily. I pray that you will be healthy and not have complications that will be too hard for you. But even if you do, I pray that God will give you the strength you need to live a full, beautiful life. I pray that you will grow to be a kind, sweet soul, caring well for others and being helpful in any way you can. I pray that your heart will be filled with love and joy, knowing that you are fully loved and will always have parents who will be here for you in every way they can for as long as God allows. I pray that you will learn to love others the way you are loved, that you will be grateful and that gratitude will compel you to share and spread cheer wherever you go. I pray that I will always be a mom who teaches you first by example, in all these ways, and that I will be humble and quick to repent when I fail at it. I pray that you will see at an early age that God is good to us and that He alone makes it possible for any of us to live a life of love and joy as the family He intended us to be. And that, come what may, God will give us the grace to lean on and support each other through all of life’s ebbs and flows, growing us up in the way we love each other and share that love with all those around us.

We are so very glad you are here, Miriam Gippeum. You are truly our “Joy” and we can’t wait to see all that God will do in and through you in the years to come.

Love, your mama

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