I don’t usually recount her “sparklingness” or share her silly statements or devote words to her specific past dramas. I don’t have much to laugh about, save in relief, when it comes to my, in so many ways born-grown, child, Sarah.
Sarah, is my “I don’t worry about her” child. She always finds a way to do well, regardless the difficulty or complexity of the circumstance. She succeeds, anyway…without my assistance, editing, quiz-bowling, reminders, etc. SHE does it, on her freaking own…and I, the ever overwhelmed mama, have been too dang grateful to ask if she would like it to be otherwise.
All my children ( and yours) are geniuses, in their own way. But, Sarah has that beautiful, steady, sane streak. She quickly recognizes both the value of justice and unity. She is bright and a quick study. She is also thorough and incredibly creative. She is a high-school sleeper who quietly does excellent work, dispenses grace to others who have digested less themselves, and leads by integrous example. Few really see her, yet. But, I who have made an uncompensated career of seeing just such, do see. Her becoming presence blares, flashes violently; it is unmistakable.
I wonder sometimes how I am to make it up to this child who willingly mama’d whomever ever little was just below her, in months, whom I was not wrangling or chasing or peeling from me. She without a request from me, packed their bags and pushed a stroller and just did more than I could have ever expected.
Sarah turned 16 this weekend. She was feeling sickly and I was over-scheduled. We didn’t do all we wanted to celebrate who she still was and has become these years. In my house, the squeaky wheel gets the grease…she doesn’t falter or freak or ask for help, what she does do is more than any sane parent could ever ask of a daughter.
Sometimes, I wonder if I have done enough, anything, to make her life feel as special as she is. There is no shiny new car in our drive. There was no sweet sixteen blow-out to celebrate. I didn’t take her on a spree to buy her beautiful things. I didn’t even get this out, until today.
I hope she knows how grateful I am to have her. How much hope she gives me…this child who writes better than I after all theses years of practice. Not too long ago, she wrote a sermon, her heart, with insight and wording to rival Brian McLaren’s best, and no, she has not yet read a line of his thought. I hope she knows how much I admire how she seeks to understand and navigates her relationships through that lens. I hope she realizes that she is becoming, daily, a woman of great wisdom and compassion and fortitude to do good, well.
We have plans, Sarah and I, after we get Number One Son off to school… plans to wander toward beauty and visit (her) possible future homes. Soon, it will be her turn, she will be first, foremost…I promise, I will (finally) make it all about her. All she has invested these years will be returned to her, with interest.
Happy Birthday, Sarah! I love you so.