Kenna reminds us on a daily basis, in her little wordless way, that she is quickly becoming a little girl and no longer a baby. While I shower and get dressed in the mornings, she sits in my closet and tries on my shoes that will not fit her for years to come. When I put on chapstick, she wants some too, and rubs her lips together with an "mmmmm" just like me. She puts any bag she can find over her shoulder and walks around with it there, usually also with a cellphone in hand because that is what she has seen me do. For better or worse, my little girl is constantly watching me. It is a humbling and sometimes scary thing to know that I play such a large role in who she will become.
When she sits on the bathroom scale and giggles at the changing numbers, I wonder what she will remember hearing me say as she grows up. Will she focus on diets, and hear "I'm so fat" and think she needs to lose weight? Or will she know without a doubt that she is made in the image of a perfect and holy God, the only special and unique her that there is?
As we approach my third month of May that I've been a mother, I think back on the last two. On Kenna's and my first Mother's Day together, I beamed with pride over my 3-month-pregnant belly as I stood with the other mothers in church service, my own Mom having left for heaven just 4 months before. On my second, Matt and I stood together in that same church and dedicated 6-month-old Kenna to the Lord. But truly, we were dedicating ourselves- purposing in our hearts to try to constantly be a lighthouse for Kenna, leading her back to God's truth and away from the foolishness in our sinful hearts (Proverbs 22:15). What a privilege and yet what a huge challenge! Though I do it every day (and sometimes through the night), 'Mommy' is not a job I take lightly.
In a few short weeks it will be Mother's Dad again, and Kenna is suddenly a tall, sassy almost-18-month-old. She is becoming independent and still inquisitive, constantly moving, exploring, and testing boundaries. Her explorations are a dichotomy of joyfulness and pride over the things she can do, as she claps her hands and says "yaaaay!" at her accomplishments, and of the frustration over things she can not yet do. Sometimes I have to discipline her for the same sinful action over and over. Sometimes she pulls away from my kisses because she is just too busy.
But sometimes at night as I rock her to sleep and we wind down together from our busy day, she pats my back as I pat hers. We sing a song asking God to clean our hearts and give us right attitudes again (Psalm 51:10). And I'm always immensely thankful to be her Mommy.