Hey, J.

You’re eight today. And this is where, especially with you, the oldest, and Lilly, the youngest, I get a little misty and sentimental about how fast time flies and stuff. And it does fly. And it takes me by surprise even though every single person from the generation before me  has told me how fast it goes. Seriously. Every one. And I’ll probably do the same someday, because it does. (Consider yourselves on notice, Millenials.)

Anyway. I could get sappy or I could give you tips from a version of you that is 28 years older, but today?

I need to celebrate a major milestone.

Last week, you asked if you could make something in the kitchen. You’re always asking if you can do that, and, when I pry into what you mean, it usually involves some bizarre concoction of melted chocolate, caramel, and food coloring. I always say no, because baking with small people makes me crazy, and nobody needs that.

But last week, and I don’t recall why, though it had to be a really good reason, I said yes.

Babe, you made lemon bars (from a box mix) and I didn’t do anything but verbally walk you through the steps. You cracked the eggs, you put the weird crust-powder in the pan, you put the pan in the oven and took it back out (which only caused a tiny heart attack for me every time) and… it was fine. I didn’t need hours alone in my room to recuperate from the chaos. I didn’t spend the whole rest of the day tamping down the urge to snap at all the people (with varying levels of effectiveness). It was… fine. The bars themselves were disappointing to us both, but I feel like that’s Krusteaz’s failing, not yours. They were beautiful and perfectly made. You did that.

I feel dumb writing this. There are moms who bake with their toddlers and love it, for crying out loud. And good for them. But baking with little people is simply not in my makeup.

I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

You, in that one afternoon last week, crossed from “little” to “not so little” and it astounded me. (Also, you used the word “astounded” this morning with a straight face and it cracked me up.)

You’re growing up just right, Jenna girl. We have our stuff, you and me. Part of us being so much the same is that you struggle in the same areas I do and that triggers all my crap, and I don’t always handle it well. But through all the mess of navigating how to raise a little me, you seem to be doing just fine.

I love you to pieces, not-so-little girl. I’m glad I get to be your mama.

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Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a clumsy Jesus follower, imperfect wife and mom, normalizer of failure, and writer who captures both the gritty experience of motherhood and the grace of God as it carries her despite her (many) imperfections. Her writing is laced with humor and vulnerability, sure to make you laugh and breathe a sigh of relief, knowing you are not alone. As an editor and writer for KindredMom.com, she is a cheerleader for moms in the trenches. She educates her four children at home in Alaska, where she lives with her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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