Yesterday was Canada Day. As we prepared to go out for fireworks, Rachael reminded me of something I use to say. When Deborah was pretty wee, she'd sit on my lap during the fireworks display and ask why there were fireworks. I'd say "because tomorrow is your birthday." Deborah and I smiled at the recollection of her thinking the fireworks were a big celebration of her birthday.
Deborah's turning 10 is bittersweet. This birthday means I don't have any children in the single digits anymore. It's a milestone, a reminder that time is slipping away, a reminder to number my days so that I may gain a heart of wisdom. Deborah is so social that I can easily lose touch with her. While she's out socializing and making sure she's not missing anything important that may be going on somewhere, she is not with me. With none of my other children have I suddenly been appalled by how big they are. Not so with Deborah. Sometimes she'll walk into the room and I'll be shocked and suddenly saddened by how tall she is. I'll have this feeling that I've not seen her for days. But of course, I see her daily. .
When I shop for her I always start in size 6X. For some reason, I'm stuck in 6X. I'll study the jeans and think she's bigger than this. I know with my head she's much bigger, but my heart has to be convinced every time. I'll move up the rack and finally stop at size 12 and wonder, when did she get this big?. It's a disconcerting emotion.
But it's also quite sweet to see how our little lady is growing up. She continues developing more sweetness, kindness and politeness. She is strong in spirit and easily speaks her mind and mostly in a self-controlled kind manner. She recently went through her first series of sex-education classes at school. She was thrilled and took it all so seriously. When the boys laughed or made off-color jokes, she'd rebuke, "This is very serious and you shouldn't be laughing and joking about it." I know she must have been a wet blanket, but still it was sweet. She got on a little kick about how immature the boys are. I'm guessing they spent a lot of time talking about "maturity" as it became the buzz word with the girls in the class. "Girls are so much more mature than boys." "I can't believe how immature ---- is." Mercy sakes, I wanted to remind her they are just 9 years old, it's not necessary to be mature at 9, but she seemed too mature to rebuke. :-)
Deborah is a very thoughtful sensitive child. A while back when I picked her up at school she said it had been a sad day. "Doug's dog Toby died. He left school early and won't be at school tomorrow." She came home and promptly made Doug a card. It said something like, "Dear Doug, I'm sorry about Toby. He was a good dog. He is waiting on the rainbow bridge for you in heaven. To be absent from the body is to be present with God." Theology aside, it was terribly sweet. She drew pictures of Doug and Toby and finished it off with lots of crosses. Then she took a box of Little Debbies and rode her bike to Doug's house for a bereavement visit.
Every Saturday when we volunteer at the nursing home (this is something we started in January at Deborah's suggestion) you'd be amazed at Deborah's acumen for dealing with seniors. She speaks clearly and loudly. She touches them easily. She serves them cookies with a bright smile and a "how are you today?" Her favorite part is walking with Nellie. Nellie cannot string a coherent sentence, but she loves to walk with Deborah. They walk the wing back and forth, holding hands.
Today is a special day. I've had a Deborah for 10 years and positively cannot imagine life without her. She is nothing short of a delightful joy, a tender strength, a purposeful blessing.
God, I am thankful that you created Deborah and allowed me to be her mother. Please keep Deborah safe and healthy and continue to draw her to you, to personal powerful relationship with you. Help her be all you created her to be. Be glorified in Deborah's life.