Parenthood comes saddled with expectations. We expect we will always do some things and NEVER do others. We expect all parents will make the same choices we make because, after all, our choices are the right ones. We expect certain outcomes for our children, whether it is how they will look or how they will act or what they will accomplish in life. The expectations are often greatest with the first child, when we are still naïve enough to believe we have some amount of control over any of this, and so well rested we cannot imagine what it is like to just survive the day. My youngest is now a year old, and while the unmet expectations I have of myself are too numerous to count, I can honestly say that my three children have far surpassed my greatest expectations.
Today I am thankful for my oldest daughter. I loved her the moment I laid eyes on her. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen, and I become more enamored with her with each passing year. My oldest daughter is thoughtful and kind. She is extremely creative and intelligent. She loves math and science. She is fascinated by things that make most people squeamish (such as bones, bugs, and dissecting squids). She is dependable and incredibly helpful with her younger sisters, even when she would rather be doing other things. She is witty and fun. She is an encourager by nature, often telling me how great she thinks I am after I have forgotten to send her with a snack or just blown it by losing my temper. While I have always called her “my cautious child,” she is incredibly brave. How many 7-year-olds do you know that have lived in 6 different states? With each move, she adjusts to a new home, new school, new climate, and new friends, and she does it with more grace than I ever expect. I am so thankful that God chose to bless me with this amazing girl!