Saturday, June 30, 2012

T is for Tough

Dear Miss Esmé,
You are tough.
There is a poster-sized photo of you in our living room, contemplative look on your face, dandelion in hand.
And every time I notice it, I think how that was the one time, the only day, you’ve thrown up.  You got carsick on our way to a lake near the coast and made a nice big mess in the back of the car.
Other than that one time, you’ve got one tough stomach.  As a baby, we never had to worry about you puking up remains.  You spin and spin, you travel miles, ride on roller coasters, and never once lost a meal.
I am blessed…
You are tough in other ways.  Sure, you cry, but not from physical injury.  You cry when you don’t get your own way – when your mastermind plans don’t work out as intended – when you are not treated appropriately by your subjects.  But when you fall, bruise yourself, draw blood, you pick yourself right on up and keep playing.
And I would never guess when you’re sick in most cases, except that you’re not quite as energetic, you sleep a little more than your 8 hours a night, you cuddle a little more. 
Have I mention I love watching you interact with others, as well?  You’re usually quick to approach others and make friends, and if you’re rebuffed, you keep right at it with the friendliness.
You’ve got tough skin, little one.  Tender heart, tough skin.  Just the way I like my kiddos done…
Little Missy, just like your mamma and pappa, you are not perfect.  In all of these letters, I’ve tried to show the good, the not-so-good, the YOU I love. 
In this walk of life, you are going to fall down.  Not just once, but over and over.  You’ll skin your knees, maybe even break a few bones.
Be tough.  By God’s grace, keep getting up.  Over and over.

Cursing every step of the way, he bore a heavy load
To the market ten miles away, the journey took its toll
And every day he passed a monastery's high cathedral walls
And it made his life seem meaningless and small

And he wondered how it would be to live in such a place
To be warm, well fed and at peace; to shut the world away

So when he saw a priest who walked, for once, beyond the iron gate
He said, “Tell me of your life inside that place"
And the priest replied...

We fall down, we get up
And the saints are just the sinners
Who fall down and get up

Disappointment followed him home; he'd hoped for so much more
But he saw himself in a light he had never seen before

Cause if the priest who fell could find the grace of God to be enough
Then there must be some hope for the rest of us

We fall down, we get up

   ~Bob Carlisle lyrics

I love you, my amazing, beautiful, clever, dilly-dallying, energized, following, grace-filled, hidden, indomitable, Jericho-miracle, kidlet, loved, mirroring, named, one-of-a-kind, poor, quicksilvery, ransomed, snuggling, tough baby girl!
Your Mom
Each birthday, I write a letter to my baby girl.  This year, the year of the amazing 5-year-mark, I’ll be working from A to Z.