Dear Debbie Joy,
Tomorrow is your second birthday. Over the weekend, I found myself crying in a Dollar Tree, of all places, as I selected unicorn-themed decorations for your birthday party. I wondered why those tears were falling.
It was not because I’m mourning the passing of your infancy as you now are truly a little girl. I have treasured the years you’ve been completely and utterly dependent on me for everything, but I don’t believe I was weeping because they’re over. I love the fact that now we can have real conversations and verbally share what’s most important with each other.
It was not because I fear the future and the steps that you’ll take away from me as you start kindergarten, graduate from high school, go to college, find a life partner, and so on. I trust that the love cultivated between us will hold.
It was not even from the pure exhaustion of having two children under the age of two, who can’t yet understand that Mommy needs boundaries and rest as well. On most days, I’ve come to a fairly tranquil acceptance that this is a season that will pass, and that one day soon, I’ll miss the grubby little hands banging on the door as I sit on the potty.
I was crying because I can begin to imagine how far your journey can take you. At the age of two, your intellect and charisma are evident to everyone you meet. I truly believe that the possibilities for you are limitless. What you set your mind on, you can do. The dreams you’ll dream can become your realities, and I will support you whatever road you choose.
I was crying in Dollar Tree because I can already tell you’ll follow a path of compassion and justice. Already, right and wrong really matter to you. You make sure ones who are littler than you get their fair turn at whatever game you’re playing. When your friends are hurt or sad, you stop and pay attention to them, asking gently, “Gabby, are you OK? What happened? What’s the matter?”
I was crying in Dollar Tree because I know you will proclaim and embody the Gospel of God’s grace and mercy whatever you do in your life, whether you are a midwife or a teacher or a physicist or the governor of the state of Tennessee. I believe you’ll witness chains being broken and lives being touched profoundly as the Spirit works in and through you as you walk this God-filled road.
I was crying in Dollar Tree because of God’s goodness in allowing me to be part of your journey. I had never known love this deep, this fierce, or this transforming until I held you in my arms. I thank God ever day that he made me a mama by entrusting you to me.
There are so many adjectives I could honestly ascribe to you: Brilliant. Gorgeous. Kind. Funny. Affectionate. Brave. Honest. Observant.
But sweet Debbie Joy, even if you forget all of those words…which I doubt you will…know you are this:
Dear Debbie Joy,