This week marks an important milestone in our family's life. Our youngest child will be turning 17 years old and it leaves us breathless as we consider how quickly the years have flown by.
Even though we had three children and one in heaven, I knew my family wasn't complete. It just felt like there was someone missing. Someone who was supposed to be there who wasn't. I felt that feeling strongly. And then Jessica arrived. And as I held her wet, warm, squalling little body I knew we were complete. She arrived quickly. I was anticipating a long, long labor like the ones I experienced with her sisters before her. But she surprised me. And she surprised the nurse and doctor. One second I was dilated to 6 and then she was straining and pushing her way into the world, before any of us were prepared. I was relaxing in the hot tub, trying to deal with the labor pains, and suddenly I told the nurse the baby was coming NOW! The nurse tried to assure me it couldn't possibly be but when she looked into the water there was no denying that the world would soon be reckoning with a force we fondly nicknamed Hurricane Jess. It was only natural that Jess blew her way into the world because she has been a strong, steady, gale ever since!
I remember her wild, curly, uncontrollable hair that went in a thousand different directions. The only thing consistent about it was the long curl that hung down her forehead. She cried a lot, and I do mean a lot, and only ever wanted her mama. No one else would do. She hated being in the car seat and really was and still is a homebody. She loved her "soft" pants - no zipper or button please, and the seams of her socks had to be perfectly aligned with her little toes at every moment! And her little stuffed friend, Puffy, who started out a bunny and ended up an indescribable, indiscernible lump of cotton and fabric, went absolutely everywhere with her.
Starting school was not fun. Her daddy would take her and most mornings bring her back home with him. Mama would have to take her back, crying and kicking. Looking back I wish I would have waited until she was ready, or tried homeschooling, but those thoughts didn't occur to me then. All 5 year olds went to school and that was that. School still isn't her favorite thing!
As a little girl, Jess always had a strong conviction of right and wrong, to the point to tattling on herself! She does not tolerate injustice to the lesser privileged and always befriends those who are lonely. She never fails to say thank you - even for the ordinary everyday things like a meal! She still likes to be home and the thought of going to live in the dorm at college unnerves her more than she wants to admit. She loves movies and shopping, her dog Buddy, and spending time with her aunts who are more like sisters and her sisters who are more like friends.
As her dad and I are preparing ourselves for the day when the winds are still and the hollowness in our lives holds only the memories of the days that a hurricane force blew through our home, we are so proud and thankful and happy that Jess is ours. In spite of us, God grew her into a beautiful young lady and we are anxious to see what His plans are for her future. When she was a baby we received her as a gift from God and we offered her back to Him to be used to His glory. We have not been disappointed. As you step into the future Jess, always seek His will and follow His plan and you won't be disappointed either.
Happy Birthday honey!
This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by Art Bookbindery, "Empowering Writers to Self Publish."