Kindergarten

Our baby girl starts kindergarten today.

I’m sure she’s going to be great. It’s me and her dad I’m worried about. Every first that my kids face, every moment and milestone just make this wet stuff squish out of my eyes. 

How can she be old enough for kindergarten?

When I found out I was pregnant with this little one, I was already a mom to the second power. But I had never been pregnant before–my oldest were adopted and I was just as surprised as everyone else that my baby maker was in good working condition. I had just gotten remarried in July of that year and in August I was taking a pregnancy test.

And then another. And another. And another…

The day I found out I bought this teeny pair of baby shoes. For some reason Mr. Wonderful came home for lunch that day and I wish you could have seen the look in his face when I gave him those shoes! In a space of two seconds he went from confused (why am I holding a tiny pair of shoes?!) to surprised (you’ve got to be kidding me!!) to elated (my baby’s having a baby!!).

That was a great two seconds.­čĺŚ

This baby girl was born into our family of boys and suddenly there was a little person who wanted to be like me. Dress like me. Fix her hair like me. Oh, she’s still her daddy’s daughter–super serious and stubborn and highly suspicious of strangers–but even with all these boys in the house she’s still my girl. My kid who wants to wear my high heels and play with my purses and “borrow” (read: completely bogart as I find it up in her room) my lipstick.All I can see as we’ve been getting her ready for school this week is every first that is to come: her first crush, her first dance, her first broken heart and date and driver’s test and going away to college and meeting the love of her life and walking down the aisle to start married life and babies of her own. I see all of these hopes and dreams within her cautious little mind, and that’s why this first day of kindergarten is about to wring me out.

(photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

Of course I’ll miss having her here with me. So will her littlest brother. And her dad. But more than that I know this is start of the big pulling away, the forming of her own thoughts and opinions and life. This is when I have to start letting go, one piece at a time when all I really want to do is hold her tighter, protect her from all the gross stuff and bad people she will eventually encounter, and put her in my bubble of hugs and kisses and dancing around the kitchen (usually just me while she watches with eyebrows raised) and trying on new lipsticks. 

Mr. Wonderful and I are letting this precious little girl out of our sight all day, five days a week. We are putting our faith in a big God to go with her, take care of her and strengthen us.

I’m not sure I can take this day, but like other mamas and daddies across the globe, I’m going to suck up (most of) my tears, I’m going to send off my baby girl with a smile and a wave, and I’m going to console myself with breakfast at our favorite little joint and the fact that I still have one more kid at home with me.

Don’t even get me started on that one.

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2016. I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, swing by and say hi!

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 9

This little sweetheart is my girl reinforcement in our boy-filled home, my sparkly girly girl one minute and tougher than nails tomboy the next. 
 Little Sister is a mover and a shaker already–watch out world! 

 #girlmom #30DaysofThankfulness #family #daughters #gratitude #thankful 

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Confidence

There is a four year old red head in my house who is a princess and a mermaid, a ninja and a spy. She runs like her Mama (which is to say awkwardly and slow, but don’t tell her. I want to be there when she catches a glimpse of herself for the first time.), fights like her brothers, is serious like her daddy and has a confidence that I’m so proud of.

She thinks she’s right 100% of the time. It’s awesome and a little scary all at once. This little girl already thinks that she can rule the world. Not one day, but right now if she chooses.

I’m so pleased about this. 

You might be saying what?! I know, it makes for some hair-pulling-out, frustrating, give-myself-a-timeout parenting oftentimes, but the young lady she is becoming is going to be one that can navigate whatever world she finds herself in. As a Mama of a daughter, as a woman grateful to other women who went before me and broke glass ceilings and paved pathways, as a female who has navigated male-dominated careers and jobs and schools, I (mostly) don’t mind this strong will of hers. 

Because I know that if I can teach her to have a tender heart toward hurting people, show her that even one person can make a difference, guide her to serving others in some capacity, along with her strong will and absolute confidence, she will indeed rule the world. Not with an iron fist, but with a velvet glove.

God bless all the Mamas of strong-willed children out there. It’s a tough road to the finish line but just wait and see what kind of human being emerges-I bet you’re going to be so proud!

PS, This is the outfit I let her leave the house in yesterday, notice the skirt and the boots (that are two sizes too big) are sequined–she is my daughter! Talk about your big, bangin’ confidence!!!

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!

Birthday Girl

To my darling girl,

I could never have known how you would change my life when we met four short years ago. Even though you were my third baby, you were my first girl and my first pregnancy.

I will never forget the first moments of your arrival: scary, wonderful, messy, loud, then quiet as I kissed your tiny red-headed baby face. You are a precious daughter, and I am so glad I got chosen to be your Mama.
I prayed for you, you know. Even though I was terrified of being a mom to a girl. I had adopted your amazing brothers already so I knew what to do with boys. I loved being a mom of boys. Would I do ok as a mom of a little girl?

This meant I would be the role model. The one you would look to to show you how a woman is supposed to be. The one who would demonstrate, in good ways and probably bad, how to love others, be a mom, be a wife. Be strong when life is crashing down around you but tender when the dust settles.

I’m supposed to teach you how to say you’re sorry and how to stand up for yourself. How to put on makeup but feel good about who you are at your core. How to take care of yourself so you can care for others. I’ll be the woman you measure yourself by, and yet I have so much more growing to do myself.

I’m still learning how to do all these things, sweet girl. I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t always get it right. I’m doing my best, and if you only learn one thing from me I hope it’s that you have a heart for serving Jesus. The rest of it is great, but everything else takes a backseat to how you live this life with love.

Four years and so many more wonders and heartaches and love and hugs and smiles and surprises and tears and laughter to come, little girl. Hang on, because it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

I love you,

Mama

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015)

5 Things I Love About Today

Went to an event that helps Veterans like Mr. Wonderful wind their way through the labyrinth that is government and military benefits. Awesome and emotionally exhausting! So I’m keepin’ it real and keepin’ it short:

Here’s my gratitude list for the day:

-grateful for Mr. Wonderful’s service and sacrifice to our country. He volunteered to do a hard, scary and sometimes thankless job. I’m so grateful for him and all of our other soldiers, past and present, who have done this hard thing.

-binge-watching on Netflix:)

-our little girl in a houseful of brothers. She likes to come in our room and hang out with me and Mr. Wonderful when her older brothers are gone and the baby’s asleep. I love snuggling with her; plus this way I know she’s not coloring in her face with markers.

´╗┐´╗┐

-I am falling in love with blogging! It’s so good to brain dump and its helping me get back into my rhythm. Find my mojo. Feel like a writer again. It makes me excited about writing my next book, a thing that’s been hanging over my head as just another thing on my To Do List. Now I’m feeling the stirring to write, even if it’s utter crap at first. Write it, and it will come.

-tomorrow is only Sunday. That means I still have some weekend left. And a whole new day full of possibility and promise. 

Happy Saturday night, don’t forget to spring forward!

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015