Hope wants to be a princess.
It sort of caught me off guard.
She recently began playing at a friend’s house with two 4-year old girls. The older girls are always creating some magical adventure, and Hope drinks them in, eagerly following them, trying to be just like them. So I should not have been surprised when my almost-2-year-old started telling me about her “castle.”
I was a tomboy as a child, only interested in kickball, collecting frogs and skateboarding. And Rhema seems completely unaware of such things – she’s been too busy learning how to sit and attend and point and imitate and learn her letters, numbers, shapes and colors. No time to explore princesses, fairies, moats and such.
So I bought Hope a tiara. Oh, the joy on her face when I put on her tiara as she stood in the mirror. Her hands flew to cover her open mouth as she squealed and exclaimed, “Princess Hope!”
Daily she dazzles and amazes me with her imagination and intelligence. She never stops talking. From the time she wakes up to when she goes to sleep, she offers a running commentary on all that she sees, hears and thinks. I spend all of my days laughing – now I know. Now I know why they say kids say the darndest things.
As I experience this new kind of motherhood with Hope, my thoughts always trail away to my Rhema, usually at her special needs school. I think of my precious firstborn, so severely affected by autism. I wish she could share a real friendship with another child. With all my heart, I want her to know the blessing of deep, rich, meaningful relationships.
How I long for her to tell me something, anything about herself. What’s your favorite color? Do you dream at night? Why do you dance in the window? The weeks, months and years of silence go by and I feel like I missed something – I didn’t get to fully experience you experiencing the world. I wish I could hear the clever things you would say. I know you, but there’s so much more I wish I knew.
When I look at my girls, I know that God has blessed me beyond measure. They are happy and healthy (relatively speaking), and they are here.
But there are days when I feel, heavy on my heart, a sense of loss.
I can’t help
missing what I’m missing.
I will not deny that.
But I will give it to God and still trust Him to do something