18 Years, Cherished Years

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We all need a place of belonging. A place to call home, a safe community where we can experience unconditional love and acceptance, and a place where we can thrive and be our greatest self.
When we learned we were pregnant last year with Eve, the joy of having another child was great, and the hope of seeing Abby become a big sister was even greater. We knew that she was going to gain the gift of a sibling; a person with whom she could share a lifelong bond with.
My favorite time is family time, and I’d say it’s Abby’s favorite as well. It’s the time when she shines the brightest, she laughs the hardest, and she gives us her best attention because Mommy, Daddy, and her sister are all together with her!
The other day, the four of us headed to Walmart with a small shopping list. Shopping with the whole family is not typical, since I usually take the girls myself to run quick errands. Well, that girl just walked through the parking lot and into the sliding doors like the happiest kid on the block; ponytail swinging, arms flailing, and laughing for no reason at all! Moving quickly to our first stop, Abby looked at the first shopper we passed and loudly stated “That’s MY Daddy! That’s MY Mommy! That’s MY sister!” Her possessiveness didn’t bother the woman one bit, as that woman was not claiming us as her own. This was not the first time we’ve witnessed our little one trying to tell other people who her family members are. And it was definitely a moment when she took pride in being part of our family.
We think it’s wonderful that Abby finds security in our family. And we hope that the unconditional love and acceptance we give her will be God’s physical provision of support to help her in the future when she faces trials or certain events that may set her back or threaten her ability to live in the way she was created for. We know that the years of her wanting the world to know who her Mommy, and Daddy, and sister are will soon come to an end, but maybe it doesn’t have to.
The days at home with two little ones are really long (and I look at the time quite frequently to watch it pass). However, I’m trying to see these days from a different perspective; one that was shared at the mom’s group my church hosts. You only have 18 years. What? I only have 15.5 more years with my 2.5 year old daughter? That’s not a lot of time! Thinking about it from that angle gives me the ability to cherish my days with them while I can. 18 years; cherished years.
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