Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I love having a son.  I would have been happy to have five boys.  If you don’t believe me, ask Mike.  I told him exactly that when we were driving home from the hospital with Grant.  I remember just where we were on the road when I said it too.  I wanted a girl too but I thought maybe that was too much to hope for.  And maybe I didn’t really deserve it.  So I was quite astonished and a little nervous when God blessed me with one anyway.


Today Jenna turned 10 and of course I remember the day she was born.  She was overdue and it was August.  It was not a nice cool and breezy August day like today is.  When she was born she was a chunky 8 pounds, 8 ounces but she was sick and spent some time in the NICU.  It was my hardest delivery and I felt pretty yucky. 

When I finally got down to see her in the NICU the next day, there she was laying in her little isolette.  My daughter. What would I do with a daughter?  How on earth could I be a good enough example for her and train her to be a Godly woman? I said her name after I sat down next to her and she turned her head and looked at me.  Coincidence?  Newborn reflexes?  Maybe.  In my heart though I relished the fact that she knew my voice. 

Nursing didn’t go very well with her and only lasted about three days.  Being bottle fed, she bonded to Daddy who helped feed her a lot.  The years of her babyhood were a little difficult: marriage tensions, money struggles and pregnancy again.  Soon there were three more sisters to raise.  Sometimes I look back and my memories are kind of blurry.  I don’t have a lot of pictures.  I wonder if I did a good job with my first little girl.  Maybe I didn’t deserve her after all.


I dressed her up in pink dresses as the mother of every baby girl does. 



The minute she started crawling, she hated it.  She screamed and cried at the road block in her movement.  She still doesn’t like dresses or brushing her hair.  Maybe I was trying to put her in a box that I dreamt up myself.  Something I thought my daughter should be.  As much as I like things my way (as does she), it’s been so much better to watch her grow into just what God wants her to be.

She may not like dresses, but she’s beautiful.  She’s independent and kind of like a puppy; endless energy, playful and loyal.  When Abby was born we put bunk beds up for Grant and Jenna.  We were trying to teach Grant to climb up over the ladder.  After several unsuccessful attempts, we left the room.  A few minutes later we heard Jenna yelling to us.  Mike told me I better come in there.  And there was Jenna, smiling and proud as a peacock sitting on the top bunk.  She may have been paying attention to the climbing lessons but I think she was just born part monkey. 

I’m really enjoying this stage, watching her learn and discover her love for sports.  Forcing her to practice the piano.  Helping her learn to love her sisters and be a good friend.


I don’t think I let those years slip away even if I sometimes feel like I did  Looking back at pictures does help me remember the fun things we did and the sweet moments when we had.  I can’t go back and change the way things were or the things I didn’t or wasn’t able to do.  But I keep thinking about another decade.  In another decade she’ll be 20.  That’s how old I was when I was engaged.  The next decade will bring lots of new things and new challenges and new joys.  It’s scary to see so much of yourself in one of your kids.  I hope those things will help bring us together.  Even our eating habits.




How can I make my time with her count?  I don’t want to look back when she’s 20 and wonder what I could’ve done different but I suppose there is no way to avoid that.  All we can do is rely on God to give us wisdom and strength, do the best with what we have, find joy in every day and love them for who God made them to be. 

That’s what I intend to do over the next decade.  With Jenna and all my kids.