Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter!

This pretty lady is turning 9! 

Kids always hear "I can't believe you're getting so big!" 
Well, I can believe it. 

I vividly recall being a new mom and wondering how to care for this precious girl. And my memories then fade into watching this girl take her first steps and hearing her utter her first words. I remember the move from the high chair to the booster chair at the kitchen table and the move from crib to toddler bed. 

I remember funny things she said as she learned to piece together sentences. I remember her riding a tricycle up and down the sidewalks in front of our first house. Then she moved on up to a bike with training wheels. And at age 4 she was learning to read, which opened up a whole new world that she loves to this day. 

Then she took on a new role, that of being the big sister to little brother. How she initially hated that transition, but before long grew to love him as her best friend and favorite playmate. 

As we began to homeschool, I remember her learning to read bigger words and learn basic math problems. I remember the hundreds of hours we've spent reading great books together and learning through them. 

I recall how she's literally grown up before my eyes. We've measured her height on the doorframe. We've captured the years in pictures, videos and journals. 

So I am overjoyed to say "Happy 9th Birthday" to my girl. Nine years of ups and downs, of steps and falls and getting back up again, of laughter and tears, of dependence and independence, of maturity and immaturity.  

When I consider my oldest child turning 9, I think about the fact that my parenting of her is half done. In 9 more years, she'll be 18 and be considered an adult. My most influential years of her life have already passed as she grows more responsible day by day. But that is not to make light of the years still ahead, as we continue to model and teach and correct, moving her towards complete independence. 

But for now, we will thank God for your life and the precious years he's given you thus far: Happy Birthday, sunshine girl, bright eyes, pleasant joy! 


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