Letter to Jubilee, Third Birthday

Oh, my big girl, how can this be? You’re turning three. And, while I feel like three is too old for you, you also seem too old for three. A lot of this is because this is the year you really became a big sister. Oh, sure, you actually became a big sister last year, before you turned two, but you didn’t really understand about being a big sister until this year.

You’ve really grown into the role. The care and love you have for your brother is special. I remember, a few months after your second birthday, we had your doctor’s appointment. The only time available for the appointment was on a day I was working, so I went to work, and then came home for the appointment. We left Noah in Denise’s capable hands, and took off in the van, just the two of us. It had been about three months since it had just been the two of us girls, and as we were pulling out of our alley you exclaimed, “Hey! We fo-got Noah!”

There was also a time that you wanted to ride home with your dad from Paw Paw and Grampa Lee’s house. Your dad was pretty stoked, so he moved your carseat into the Land Cruiser. Noah and I drove home in the van. Ten minutes later, when I opened the door to the Land Cruiser, there was an upset Jubilee looking at me, eyes red and puffy, nose running. You had looked next to you, about two seconds out from Paw Paw and Grampa Lee’s house and said to your dad, “but, Noah usually sits next to me.” And you cried all the way home because you missed your brother.

This year’s not been all roses. Having a new baby is difficult for everyone involved. There were times all three of us — me, you and your brother — were crying. There was a lot of learning and growing up this year for you. You learned to use the bathroom this year, too, these are all big steps for a two-year-old.

You are developing such a grateful spirit, it makes your dad and I so proud. This morning, after you saw your new pink Mini-Mouse tricycle, you didn’t realize what it was: a birthday present from your dad and I. But, after the sleep finally cleared your little head, you ran to me and gave me a great big Jubilee hug and kiss and then ran to your dad and gave him a great big Jubilee hug and kiss. No prompting from us, it just sprang from you.

And when you get really excited because we’re going to do something fun, at any little thing, like “here’s your coat, Jubilee,” you say, “ohhhh, thanks!” Maybe this is why you love singing along to your kids’ worship CD on your “peroke” machine, gratefulness and praise belonging together.

I pray that this grateful heart continues. I pray that you are able to know the Father of Heavenly lights who gives all good and perfect gifts and be grateful in your heart to Him all the days of your life.

You definitely have your days when you’re cranky and up to mischief — even downright naughty. We’re working through this because we love you. Your dad and I know that our most important job in life, now that God has given us you and your brother, is to bring you up in a way that you are able to discern right from wrong. Discipline is a part of this process. I hope and pray that the discipline you receive — based on your dad and I’s best wisdom — will help you understand the Lord’s boundaries in your life.

As you grow, and as you are so precocious for your age, you are very soon — if you haven’t already — begun to learn that all people aren’t kind, feelings can be hurt and scarred by other’s words and actions, and that life can be very disappointing sometimes.

This is all happening too fast for me, and I’m at my wits end trying to figure out how to help you navigate these uncharted waters.

Part of this might be my own insecurities. How can I help you deal with rejection or bullying by other children when you are just excited and mean no harm when sometimes I still experience the same feelings? Can I keep from projecting my insecurities onto you and just let you be yourself? And on and on.

There is only one way. I’m praying that the Lord helps me and your dad to understand you and gives us wisdom. There have been a couple times already, when your feelings were hurt that I just wanted to shield you from any further experiences like that, but, I was reminded this week, while I was doing my devotions, that it is not I nor your dad who are your protectors, but the Lord. So, I’m going to end this long letter for your third birthday with Psalm 23:

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I could write so much more about you this last year: How you help me remember all kinds of things; how you’ve begun to ask questions about God and Jesus; how much of a smarty-pants you are … I wish I could just bottle you up right here, right now, because I love you so much.

So, I’ll say it some more: your dad and I love you. We love you, love you, love you!

Love you!

Momma (and Daddy!)

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