Happy Birthday J: On Grace, and Dancing. ~ The Grace Between

Happy Birthday J: On Grace, and Dancing.

Dearest J, my firstborn, my first girl.

It’s your birthday tonight, and I’ve got some words to say to you. Truth be told, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed these days … truth be told, I’m a lot overwhelmed .


Our life just keeps on happening in trickle down ways on trickle down days, and I turned around and you, my first baby, have been here a decade.


I spent most of that decade in a daze wearing yoga pants and clutching a coffee cup, hastily posting pictures to Instagram and Facebook so I could remember it later. And I’m joyful for the memories and terrified of the future and drowning in the medicine. I want to laugh and cry and take a nap all at the same time.


And girl of mine? It’s a great grieving dance of motherhood in adulthood and losing your life to save it and sometimes just losing it.


You are old enough to catch a glimpse of the moves now, between my awkward shuffle on the bad days, and the moments I choreograph hours of cutting, ironing, and stenciling bricks on an old flannel bed sheet, culminating in the Harry Potter tenth birthday celebration for you, my girl, who, I swear, grew two feet and light years in a scant five days at sleepaway camp.

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And you know what? In the bustle of the dance my darling girl, in the moments I trip over my two left feet and stray off the beat of the gospel, when I stumble over my tongue, shouting at you over the music?  You give me all the grace and those, those are the moments I grieve and hold most dear.

I have more words for you.

Precocious:  forward, mature, gifted, talented, clever, intelligent, quick.

Luminous: full of light.  

We are working on more … maybe for your eleventh birthday. You have a way of making us tongue-tied.

Happiest of birthdays to my witty, empathetic, high-spirited artist who sees the world in shades of color I don’t even dream in. You are a gift to me.


Praying the love of Christ over you tonight, and every night. All my love.


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