This past weekend we continued a tradition we started last year with the kids… Evie and I spend a night at a hotel and D and Eli do fun boy things together while we are away. These special times with our kids are fleeting, and I’m realizing as they are quickly getting older and taller and bigger that the most valuable thing I can do is to just spend time with them. And as they are getting older and taller and bigger we have to be a bit more intentional with the time. So we plan these dates in hopes that they will create a lasting memory of us, and of our conversations, and that we did something special that was just for them.
Evie and I had a great time. We went to a movie and out for dinner and did a little shopping. She held my hand in the mall and wanted to make sure we had a big king sized bed in our hotel room instead of two queens because she wanted to snuggle with me while we watched TV with our cheesecake that we picked up to go. And I always try to have some talks with her during our time together about some things I want her to know. Because life is hard and complicated and I want her to know what is true.
Of-course our conversation usually gets cut short by the tween eye roll. Or the, “okay mom, I get it”. Or the smile and then the change of subject. Like she’s trying to be respectful of what I have to say but so wants to move on. So I smile back and we move on. We go back to watching Fixer Upper and sipping our white mochas that I went and picked up for us. She goes back to watching slime videos on her phone and I pray that she knows all those things I want her to know….how loved she is, how special she is, how amazing she is.
I want her to know that she can talk to me about anything.
I want her to know that she is so beautiful. And that she doesn’t have to be into doing her hair or wearing makeup or impressing boys like some of her classmates are.
I want her to know that it’s okay to be different. That even though being different might sometimes make her feel alone, that being different is so much more awesome than being the same as everybody else.
I want her to know that God has given her this amazing gift of observing and noticing and seeing the beauty and detail in things that so many people take for granted.
I want her to know that even though she feels like she gets picked last for most things, or that sometimes she feels left out or forgotten, that she will always be my number one choice. Always.
I want her to know how God has answered our prayers for her and that we are constantly praying for her.
I want her to know how proud I am of her for how wonderfully she has transitioned to middle school, for how she has learned to advocate for herself, for learning to deal with anxiety and for trying new things, for working hard on things that are hard for her.
I want her to know that even though she is growing up and that things are changing that my love for her will not change, that her God does not change.
I want her to know that it’s okay to be an introvert.
I want her to know that being compassionate and showing gratitude and being generous will get her farther in life than good grades and athleticism and popularity.
I want her to know that God has an amazing plan for her, and that I’m so blessed that I get to be her mom and see that plan develop.
I can try to tell her all those things in one over night trip to a hotel, but my hope is that I’m telling her those things every day in some way or another. Although an over night trip to a hotel with cheesecake and white mochas doesn’t hurt, either. :)