daughter

We went to the beach this weekend to spend time with family. We didn’t do much “beach” because the weather wasn’t great, but there was a break in the clouds long enough for us to spend some time in the sand and for one person from our group to get badly sunburned. You loved it. You really did. You splashed and ran and squealed and dug and played until we absolutely couldn’t stand it anymore. But the waves were rough, so you didn’t get much swimming in. Instead, we all took turns holding your hand while you hopped in and out of the water’s edge, and pulling you back before the waves knocked you down. And then we sat in the surf together. Right on the edge where the tide rolls in to the sand. You would squeal every time the water rolled over our feet and legs. Then you would look at me with such wonderment, like I could explain it all to you. I, of course, have no idea how and why the waves crash in like they do, save some faint memories of 8th grade earth science class and that it has something to do with the moon’s

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To my beautiful mother on Mother’s Day – You always told me when I was older and had children of my own, you would understand the reasons you did things the way you did. I get it now. Every time I look into your grandchildren’s eyes, I feel the enormous amount of pressure on me to do things not only the right way, but to do them well.  I see how they look at me to be their #1 source of their needs and their wants.  They need me every moment of every day to be behind them, encouraging them, leading them, and sometimes making choices for them. I know that when you look at Brooke Allen, you see me all over again – the way she talks, the way she plays, and the way she sasses.  In your frustration with me growing up, you warned me over and over again that I would have a child just like me one day.  I am absolutely reaping every seed that I sowed in my childhood, and will eventually reap my teenage years too. But the best part about that is, you are also reaping what you sowed in me.  I have

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To myself on this Mother’s Day… Look at you.  You look like a hot mess.  Your hair is on top of your head, your 7am make up is long gone, except for the mascara that has started to raccoon around your lower lids, and just how old are those sweatpants?  They probably at some point in your life fit a whole lot better than they do today, but the elastic is all worn out so it doesn’t matter.  Plus, you’ve been sucking in your leftover baby belly all day, so it’s time to relax and let it all out.  The bra is most definitely off, and your t-shirt is a sorority t-shirt that is older than your relationship with your husband. You’re tired.  You’ve spent all weekend chasing after children while your husband works.  You even had to work in the office while you carted the kids over to Gigi’s house.  Then you did church, grocery, Target, meals, bathtimes, and bedtimes all while wrangling children – one who wants to do everything herself, and the other who wants to chew everything he can get his chubby hands on.  You’ve poured countless cups of milk and folded the blanket at least four times.  Every

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I pray for you.  I pray for you every day. And not just during my regular study time during the day. I pray for you all throughout the day.  I pray for you when I drop you off at school.  I pray for you when I put you to bed each night.  I pray for you when I kiss the top of your head.  I pray for you when you crawl into bed with me every morning at 7am.  I pray for you when I pick you up when you are crying because something imaginary touched you.  I pray for you when we are both in a frenzy and frustrated with each other. I pray.  I pray hard. I pray that whatever it is causing you to be upset or hurt would stop.  That it would all go away.  I pray that you will never be hurt again, but I know that won’t happen.  I pray it anyway. I pray for your heart, that it will be strong and kind.  That you will be open to loving all those around you, but still be protected from the predators who will seek it through your life.  That your heart will never

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Dear Brooke Allen, You are three years old today. I’m not really sure how we got here, or why time had to go so quickly.  I’m in a bit of mourning over the past three years, wishing I could go back to specific times in your life and relive them over and over again. Like when I first held you when you were born.  And when I used to rock you at night, and you would gaze back at me while I sang to you.  And when you found your love for Mouse.  And when you smashed into cake for the first time.  The first time I heard you laugh, and the first time I heard you say my name.  The first steps, the first falls, and the first time you asserted yourself with your own opinion. But I can’t go back.  I only have those sweet memories.  Instead, I can talk about who you are. You are brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.  You are so observant of everything around you and you soak it up like a sponge.  You can talk about everything you see, hear and do, and you talk about it with confidence. Your memory is amazing – you

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