On Monday, my oldest child, Reagan, turned 11 years old. Like most moms on their child's birthday, I spent the better part of the day trying to answer the infamous, "where has all the time gone?" question. I'm not exactly sure where it went; but I do know it sure has gone by quickly, and that there are so many things I'll never forget and yet there are so many things I wish I could remember.
In the beginning it was sleepless nights, crazy feeding schedules, and cuddles in the rocking chair. It was work full time, and never feeling as though we had enough time together. Then suddenly before I knew it, it was time for sippy cups and finger foods, first steps and the first birthday.
Dress up, and make believe inspired by the giggles of delight over Barney, Disney Princesses and Strawberry Shortcake, brought the beautiful sound of laughter and happiness throughout our home.
Always sweet, forever tender and caring, there was no doubt the role of big sister would be one she would fill with love and compassion. She has always been there to help, to guide, to inspire her brothers. They annoy and pester her as little brothers do; but they never fail to put a smile on her face every single day. The boys are happy and delight in everything she does for them as well. Her greatest quality is, without a doubt, the beautiful way she loves each and every member of her family. She loves with a tenderness that is pure and true, sweet and just incredible.
Her confidence, strength and courage to constantly adjust to new homes and new schools is truly inspiring. She packs up and moves every 3 years without complaint, and without fear. She is a loyal and true friend to so many people she has met over the years.
I look back and I see how the days of baby dolls and carriages, pigtails, and barbies have slowly given way over the years to make-up, and nail polish, music concerts, magazine posters and Facebook. I see the little girl she was and catch glimpses of the beautiful woman I know she has yet to become.
I hope that in some ways I have inspired her. I hope that I am guiding her in a way that will teach her the lessons in life she will need to know. I know without a doubt though that she has taught me some of the greatest lessons I have ever learned in my life. She has taught me to enjoy life in the moment, that every day is to be cherished. To live, to love and to laugh with everything you have is what makes life wonderful and amazing.
I thank God every day for everything she brings to our lives. She is my Angel Girl and she makes my heart happy every day. I love her more than words could ever truly say with all my heart.