Yes, it's true. Elisabeth turned 18 today (on the same day my mother turned.....Happy Birthday, Mom!) So she has her own student visa as she is officially an adult. All though in China, there is nothing she could do today that she couldn't do yesterday!
When we moved from California to Missouri in 1996, Elisabeth was almost three. I found out that the age cut off for Kindergarten was July 30 and that she wouldn't be starting Kindergarten until she was almost six. At first I was really upset but now I am so greatful. We have had an extra year with our special daughter and we are so glad.
This is the year of college visits, AP tests, SAT's and college applications. It's sad and wonderful at the same time.
On this website http://shelovesmagazine.com/2011/1-corinthians-13-a-parents-paraphrase/ I read this lovely paraphrase of I Corinthians 13 today. As I get ready to release my baby, the words resonated with me really strongly.
Though I have all the right words, but have not love, I might as well be talking to the back of your head.
Though I have all the answers to your every question and have read every parenting book and have all the resources to pave the way for your perfect future but don’t have love, I have nothing.
Though I give you everything I have and sacrifice every ounce of my energy to keep your ever-growing body in clothes that fit and feed you square meals and ensure your teeth are brushed and your emotions are vented and your friendships maintained and oh, maybe even eventually send you off to college – but have not love, it’s useless.
Love is patient as it paces back and forth across the living room late into the night, rocking you to sleep. It endures as you talk my ear off in the car after school. It smiles as you ask for another bedtime story. It drives you to karate and to birthday parties and to the mall to hang with your friends. It sits at the table and encourages you as you try to solve math equations I can’t understand. It is full of grace as you accidently knock the Rice Krispies out of the pantry and across the kitchen floor. Again.
Love isn’t jealous when you would rather trade your homemade sandwich for a friend’s twinkie at recess. Love doesn’t need to prove that I know more .than you do, that I’m the boss of you, that I have it all figured out.
Love doesn’t rub your nose in your mistakes but extends its arms with grace. It doesn’t keep a mental list of how many times you’ve messed up. It doesn’t whine about how much it has to do and how little thanks it gets. Love doesn’t lose its cool over silly things that will be forgotten tomorrow.
Love is crazy for Truth, and celebrates when you discover it.
Love can deal with the tantrums and the mood swings. It trusts God in every season, and it carries on and on into grandparenthood. It’s the screaming cheerleader at your game, the beaming face in the crowd at your recital, and the basketcase on the night before your wedding. It’s the voice on the phone checking in… the porch light on, waiting, at the end of the day.
Love won’t quit.
Colourful toys and baby blankets will eventually be packed up and put away. Field trips, sports days and school dances will come and go.
One day, in the light of eternity, we’ll better understand the depth and complexity of this heartbreaking, beautiful life we share…
But for now we have three tasks to keep us on track: Put all our faith in God, hope wholeheartedly, and love lavishly. And the very best thing we can do is love.
So, Happy Birthday to my darling girl. We will celebrate with you as you discover Truth and walk in it. We are crazy about you.