Today you turn eight.

I would allow myself to wax sentimental about that, but why?

Every day, I catch another glimpse of the person – the woman – that God ordained you to be.

And it takes my breath away.

You are gentle, and curious, and compassionate. Inclusive to all, and the first to encourage those who feel sad, or scared, or left out.

You’re observant and resourceful in the cleverest of ways, engineering crafts and games and one act plays using the unlikeliest of household items and limitless imagination.

None of this because you think it’s pleasing to me, but because it comes naturally.

Even at this tender age, you are beautifully independent, knowing when to follow the flock and when to go your own way.

These are the reasons I am in awe of you, and why I am humbled to be your mama.

When you were 72 hours new, we made one stop on the way home. In the semi dark sanctuary of our church, with only filtered summer light shining through the stained glass windows, we sat as a family of three and did something unusual for non evangelical Methodists.

We prayed out loud, a rather messy prayer as lacking in formality as it was full of sincerity.

We prayed over you, a tiny bundle in your newly installed carseat, and swimming in a sea of fabric from the take home outfit that was two sizes too big.

And we prayed for you these words:

Remember whose you are, and you will always know who you are.

And you do.

As amazing as all the firsts were when you were little, so too is the here and now. I won’t miss it pining for the past.

Your intellect is growing, your personality blooming. Our conversations and shared activities are all the livelier for it.

It just keeps getting better.

So on this day, instead of asking time to slow down, I’m savoring what’s to come.

Happy Birthday love.