Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On my firstborn's birthday...

Today is your birthday.
You made me a mama when I wasn't much more than a child myself,
just shy of my twentieth birthday.
There are no words to describe the way I loved you from the very start,
but maybe I'll try.
I loved you fiercely.
This was no mamby-pamby, ooey-gooey, sissy type love,
this was full blown mama bear love.
It flooded my heart the minute I saw you with your head of thick dark hair
and your dimpled cheeks.
It's power surprised me.

You're a grown married woman now, with children of your own.
Surely you understand now what I mean.
Being a mama is a wonderful and terrifying thing.
It changed and shaped me in the best ways while it exposed my weaknesses in the worst ways.
My frequent prayer was, "God, please cover my mistakes with Your grace".

Yesterday, you asked me to watch your girls for a few hours while you attended a meeting.
While the two year old napped,  the five year old and I played a game of dominos,
then a hand of Go Fish followed by a hand of Old Maid.
We ended up snuggled up together on my bed while I read One Morning in Maine to her.
While we read about Sal and her lose tooth I commented, that at age five, she'll probably lose a tooth soon as well.
A few moments later she burst out,  "Nana, this is the best day!"
My heart burst with the love I felt for your firstborn girl,
and it was a wee bit like getting to live a moment with you at age five all over again.
It just goes by so gosh darn fast.
So fast.
Too fast.
I wish I'd played more dominos and hands of Go Fish and Old Maid and read more 
Robert McCloskey classics to you and worried a lot less about my list of to-dos.

But I can't go back, and looking at you, I guess God's grace did cover my weakness, 
because you're pretty amazing.
You are beautiful in every way and I am so proud of you.
I am proud to be your mama.

It would be wonderful to have my name on the cover of a book someday,
or even on an article in a magazine,
but if all I'm ever know as is your mama, your sisters' mama,
your daughters' nana, or your sisters' childrens' nana,
I'm okay with that.
Because it's been a high privilege,
a high honor,
and the greatest blessing from God I've ever known.

still following,


at 3-D Lessons for Life


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your daughter and to mothering in general.

    This made me smile: A few moments later she burst out, "Nana, this is the best day!"
    I look forward to when my daughters have kids...

    1. Oh, Lisa, being a grandparent is so amazing. The love is every bit as powerful as mother love, but in a way even more, because you notice everything so much more this time around.

  2. That is beautiful. enjoy those precious wee ones and continue to make memories.

    1. Yes! I just wish I could slow time down a wee bit.

  3. Happy birthday to your sweet daughter. This is a beautiful picture of your love for her. What a blessing you are to each other - and that's the real gift God gave you.

    1. Thank you my friend. I cried while writing this. The time is going too, too fast!

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your special birthday girl. There is just nothing like the first-born, or the second, or third either for that matter, is there.

    1. You are right...each child is my favorite for their own unique reasons!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, June. I wrote with tears running down my cheeks. Mama love is a powerful thing!

  6. Elizabeth, My oldest son will be 27 this year, and your poignant writing hit home. I love your last few sentences the most - to have your work recognized in some fashion would be icing on the cake. But, you already have the cake itself in the form of family and faith.

    1. Donna, you are so right. Seeing the beautiful women of God my daughters are is a blessing beyond words!

  7. yes, grandparenting. isn't it wonderful! when i am down if i can just have a hug, i am all better! (I used to say "I just need a baby cheek next to mine." - now no more babies on the horizon) regarding playing with our kids - as I was leaving the other day my 5 year old granddaughter was all sad and said she thought her daddy was lucky - because he had me to play with all the time when he was little .k sticking up for my sweet DIL I explaineed that when her daddy was little, i couldn't always play with him because i had to do the mommie stuff like her mom does! she had to think about that for awhile - a new thought to her. that's the thing about being a grandma! i just wrote a birthday letter to her 41 year old daddy this month..

    one off the things i love about these link ups is meeting people my age and stage of life. have you ever been on blog. she is a grandma and a great writer and has a great community going on over there. stumbled across her on Deeper Story.

    1. Carol, I love Diana Trautwein and got to meet her in person at the Jumping Tandem retreat. I'm so glad you took time to comment, and yes, it's so great to meet someone at our stage of life. I co-lead an online community group for (in)courage for women over 50. Next session you should join us!

  8. How sweet this is!!! I know exactly this feeling....My oldest (mine by marriage) is married and has the sweetest boys that I just absolutely had no idea how being a "Lolli" could make me feel.
    My youngest daughter, my first born will be 21 next month.... and many times, which I know is only by the grace of God that she has grown into a sweet spirited young lady that loves the Lord.
    My almost 17 year old son amazes me with the choices in his life. He is wise beyond his years no matter how much this boy can drive me crazy... his heart is determined to make Godly decisions. The baby of the bunch is 9 and is so inquisitive and fun-loving that I wonder where he came from some days. Just last week, I had a melt-down of sorts.... and I told my husband that my kids are so much better than I am. Their wisdom, discernment and their ability to take things in stride is amazing. Not only did God's grace cover my weakness... He lifted my children far and above my weaknesses.... IN my weakness HE has made them STRONG! Thanks for this awesome reminder.

    1. Isn't being a Nana, in my case, and a Lolli, in your case, simply amazing. It's the same powerful love as for your children only some ways better, because now you know enough to enjoy the moments since time zooms by so fast!


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