Far too soon …

by Kristi Van Dyk in

Maybe it's the little boy kicking in my stomach, getting ready to make his appearance ... Maybe it's the hormone fluctuation ... Could be the busy-ness of tennis/deadlines at work... Maybe it's that stage in my firstborn daughter's life ... These past three days have been FULL of little moments that take my breath away. The kind I know I'll have as Kayleigh grows. I'm already anticipating the difficulties of sending her off to preschool, letting her play at her friends' houses, her first sleepover with someone other than family, her first date (YIKES!)/her first formal, etc. All of those things were in the back of my mind as I watched her take some of her own very independent steps this week ... some age appropriate, some not so much. :) I'll pair them, as I see them in my mind's eye, with equal memories of her as a tiny baby girl. 1. Then: I still remember the feeling I had when, as I was still pushing in labor, my doctor said, "Congratulations! You have a daughter!" I screamed, "WHAT??!!!" because I was so certain she was a boy. Don't get me wrong, I was ecstatic! (just shocked) Still shocked at my baby GIRL Now: That same baby daughter met her first "boyfriend" at a tennis match today! (I heard this all through Steve, Bri and my mom who actually saw it. I was coaching 3D at the time). A little boy approached my angel, handed her a cracker and gave her a few of the tennis balls he had stashed away so that they could play together. In return, Kayleigh hugged him ... and stayed hugging him for a while. They chased each other around the tennis court for quite some time after that. She kept calling him Ryan (for her little cousin), but play they did. My prayer: I know I won't be able to stop little boys from liking my little girl. I can't really blame them. She's cute and amazingly fun. It's innocent now,  but I pray that God protects her sweet, trusting heart as she grows and that's she's able to find someone, someday (who's probably still in diapers of his own right now) who cares for her, loves her, and has Jesus as the model for his life. (This rocks my world because I thought I had a while to wait before I had to begin praying for her future husband. Today reminded me that it's not too early to start that prayer ... So, it begins today!)

2: Then: My little angel from 6 weeks on (after  we figured out her feeding issues), was the best sleeping snuggler ever! Her favorite (and really only) way to go to sleep was to be laid flat, chest down, head sideways on Mommy/Daddy's chest. She truly had no preference to one party or the other, but because I was working so much during the day, I often hogged the night time put to beds. She'd lay curled up for hours like that, never moving, only soft breathing. When that got too space constrictive for her, she'd lay sideways, face in, ears to the side and sleep. It wouldn't take more than one or two minutes when she got in that hold to simply snuggle up and drift off.  I'd hold her MUCH longer than that, just enjoying how much she liked being with Mommy. Looks uncomfy, but it always worked for her Now: Little cherub doesn't snuggle much ... when she's tired she will zone out on my lap for 10 minutes or so. But mostly we have to treasure those late night trips in from the van when she's totally conked out. That's about the only stand still snuggle time we get. Steve always gets those ... he's usually more alert after late night trips, and since he gets so little of the snuggles, he steals them when he can. Last night we drove home separately so I got them :) But, as I said, those moments are so rare. Kayleigh now refuses, even, to hold Mommy's hand when we are walking in a public place. She pushes your hand away because she wants her independence. It's as if she's saying, "No, Mom, don't guide me or tell me where to go. Just let me do what I want to do." My prayer: I hope that God gives me the strength to stand back and let her go. It's part of life; I did the same, I'm sure. But, as a mother now, I need to know that her growth is normal and her asserting herself is all part of the plan God has in mind for her. I pray that as she learns to be independent, she will, at the same time, realize her need for God. If she doesn't want me to guide her all of the time, that's fine; let her choose a better guide than me! Let her choose His hand to hold!!

3: Then: Between 4-5 months we watched as Kayleigh began to play in her exersaucer, grabbing at rattles, chewing on stuffed objects, even pushing buttons that made music (her first real love!). I was so proud and would sit and start at her for hours, something I hope I have the time to do with little man ... (haha). I was so worried I'd miss something big, that I made sure I was taking note of all of her little progresses. Growing and Learning Now: I wish her movements were so innocent .. :) She grabs at toys, shoes, "ABOOK!," "KTT," chews on "CACKERS," "TOOOAST," drinks "JUICE," opens the doors to go "OUTSIDE," and even (just yesterday) sits down on her butt to scoot "DOWNSTAIRS." She chases and is completely obsessed with "BALLS" and never, ever wants to be apart from people, especially new ones (and BRI BRI). She walks right up to strangers and says, "OUT OUT" because she's completely trusting and hasn't really encountered people who don't like her. And, she dances ... oh does this dutch baby girl dance. She climbs up onto her big girl bed, turns on the stereo and starts moving all over the place. Just yesterday she copied some very suggestive dance moves on the CBS early show from The Pussycat Dolls. My prayer: Just like her growing independence, I pray that God directs her movements. I pray that he helps her to use her movements to glorify Him and not herself or worse yet, other people.

Sigh, I think I could go on, but as it is approaching Kayleigh's time to be "rescued" from her bed ... I should start wrapping this up. I praise God for the little blessing Kayleigh has been to us. I can't believe how incredible she's turning out to be. It makes me so ready for my little man (although with him, I'm sure I'll have to continuously remind myself that he is not his sister!). Either way, I'm so thankful that God has given me the time at home (stressful as it is sometimes) to watch them both grow, treasure each moment, and take time to think about how quickly it all goes. Hopefully you have something to think back and treasure as well this morning. :)