January 17, 2012

Double Digits

Originally uploaded by gennabby.
Sweet Abby turned 10 years old yesterday! We were all glad that she had the day off from school to hang out. Reflecting on this tenth year, Abby said that one of the biggest highlights of the year was getting her kitten, Ellie. They are fast friends, and Ellie can often be found snoozing at Abby's feet, or waiting in the window for her to come home from school.

Abby's experience of life has been different from a lot of her friends around here. Matthew and I married young and had Abby when we were 24 and 25. We had just started grad school and the long road to figuring out what kind of work we would do (we're still on that long road eleven years later...). So our lives have held uncertainty and cross-country moves, long seasons of job searches and impending change, living far from family, and always budget constrained. Matthew and I are both good at some things and lousy at others, and in the places where our "lousy" overlaps, there are these gaps that make life more challenging. We're not great at being consistent and intentional about traditions. Not great planners. So much of life feels ad hoc, a little last minute, a little chaotic. Matthew is in his head a lot and I am "available" to the kids but feel stunned and dazed by the pace of life and of the kids' questions. I rarely have an immediate answer to any question--needing to say the words back to myself at least once before answering (can. Noah. get. chocolate. milk. UH, yes, I think so. Can he? Wait, no. We never have chocolate milk. Is there chocolate milk in the fridge? How did it get there? Or are they planning to melt chocolate and make chocolate milk?). This makes me a frustrating person to ask a question of, I bet. But they keep asking.

It would seem that Matthew can answer every question asked. Usually without looking up the answer. ANd we all wonder how in the world he knows that answer too...

So chaos, creativity, clutter and a simultaneous aversion to clutter (and no budget for hiring someone to help with it) make us a family always just a little bit unkempt.

Abby is the product of all of that plus a ton of love. She's grown up with the security of a mom and dad who love each other and who try very hard to trust God and love the gifts He has given us. We point her to Christ when she's sad, when we're confused, when things are great but our hearts are not grateful. So she has this wildness to her--she has the creativity without the same hang-ups we have. She is smart but doesn't think that a PhD is impossible to get (nor is she sure she'd want one or that it matters right now for her to know either way). She is easily frustrated, has high expectations of herself when it comes to drawing and creating with her hands. Her feelings are easily hurt and she is annoyed by kids at school, but she comes home and shares her heart without holding back. And then she feels better.

Abby is loving, intense, capable of more than she realizes, clever, funny, blessed, healthy, modest, energetic, prone to headaches and bellyaches (especially when she needs to clean up her room). She's not tidy--she's way too busy and creative for that. She's a good friend, loves to spoon and snuggle. She's learning to be an encourager. She is beautiful.

Happy Birthday, precious Abby, we love you so much.

1 comment:

Gina Collins said...

What a great Mom you are, Genna. You see wonderful things for your children:)