My one and only daughter is coming home tomorrow.

She’s twenty-one. Not a child.

Every mother knows in her heart,

that adult child is still a toddler with fingers curled around hers.

As my Firstborn comes home, well seasoned to college life, my heart weeps with joy and regret over our path.

Thankful for time invested and for time redeemed.

The following list is one I posted two years ago when she left for college.

Two years later,  fruit of time and faith sown into a child is evident.  Seeds God grew at just the right time.

Things I Would Do Again

  • be home full-time to watch her grow
  • have tea parties
  • play dress ups
  • read her books
  • take her to parks
  • sing to her
  • have play dates
  • lay beside her bed and pray for her when she’s sleeping
  • take her to museums
  • take her on a road trip
  • be honest about my life when she asked hard questions
  • have her dad intervene when she wouldn’t listen to me
  • have her dad date her when other girls had boyfriends
  • tell her dad what girls need to hear
  • write her notes when she didn’t want to listen to me
  • make time for her even when exhausted
  • talk to her about sex at age-appropriate levels
  • stand firmly even when it hurts
  • hold her loosely
  • stay up late when she wanted to talk

Things I Would Have Done Differently

  • trusted God earlier and more often
  • bit my tongue more
  • walked away more
  • let her and her brothers work out fights more on their own
  • given her space more often
  • realized some things are just that way, and it’s okay
  • realized earlier she’s not me
  • listened more
  • lectured less
  • prayed more
  • been more patient
  • told her I was proud of her
  • appreciated her more
  • encouraged her more
  • given more grace
  • hugged her more
  • held her just one more time

Somewhere between Barney and the mountains of Virginia, God took these seeds and watered them well.  He yanked  out weeds choking growth when shoots were tender.

When she was five, I realized for the first time she was not a product of me.

As an adult, I realize she’s absorbed things I didn’t think she was paying attention to.

That’s the mystery of parenting.

The things you think you’re responsible for, you’re not

The things you doubt they absorb, they do.

The other mystery of parenting?

Somewhere between Barney and Virginia,

they grow up

So neither he who plants or he who waters is anything, but only God makes things grow.  I Co 3:7


Daughters are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.  Psalm 127:3


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