Last night, I crept into your bedroom to catch a final glimpse of my four-year-old girl. I did not want to disturb you, but on the eve of your fifth birthday nostalgia propelled me closer. Kneeling beside your bed, I gently brushed your cheek with the tips of my fingers. When I leaned forward to kiss you, as I did when first we met, your reaction evoked a wide smile from my lips. You nestled your head on my collarbone and sighed... and for just a twinkling, you my precious firstborn, became my newborn once again.
My mind then fast-forwarded to the events of this past year. The details of your birth and infancy are well recorded, so today I want to tell you about who you were when you were four-years-old.
When you were four, you were an artist. You viewed the world in full color and differentiated between aqua and blue...violet and purple...fuchsia and pink. While painting was your favorite medium of artistic expression, you also created masterpieces with chalk, crayons, beads, construction paper, paper plates, ribbon, and even remnants of fabric.
When you were four, you were a diplomat. During a parent-teacher conference I learned that you helped your classmates settle squabbles and negotiated many truces between peers who struggled with sharing.
When you were four, you were a trooper. Six months after your fourth birthday, we moved from South Carolina to Georgia. It was the you r fourth move to different state...the second move you remember. Although you missed your friends, church, and playground, you adapted well to your new surroundings. Yes, there were times of sadness and tears rolled down your sweet rosy cheeks, but you...without mommy's prodding, were quick to remind yourself that those friends you longed for would always live in your heart.
When you were four, you were a cheerleader. When your little brother took his first steps, you clapped so loud that he fell on his startled bottom. Whenever a friend needed encouragement, you responded enthusiastically. If you caught daddy in a rare moment of grumpiness, your hug and words of affirmation brightened his spirits. And when frustration loomed around me, you'd lift me up with a tender pep talk such as, “It's O.K. Mommy, sometimes things like washing machines just break, but you will always be a beautiful and wonderful mommy.”
When you were four, you were an ambassador of goodwill. Most children are bashful when entering a room full of strangers, but when you encountered such situations, you would smile and shout, “Look at all these new friends!” You enjoyed delivering homemade treats to our neighbors, and confidently greeted everyone you met with a gregarious grin.
When you were four, you were a little girl after the heart of God. I will never forget the day we sat together in your daddy's recliner and you asked Jesus to be first place in your life. You joined Awanas club at Life Church and learned your memory verses weekly. You openly shared your love of Jesus with others and without prompting prayed for those in need.
When you were four, you were deeply loved...just as you are today my precious girl, no mater where you are or how old you are. So now, I'm going to end my letter to you with borrowed words...words you once spoke to me...
“I love you all the way up to God and back...and you cannot love more than that.”