autumn in the Ozarks
Tonight she sleeps sweetly while her Daddy and I wrap gifts and write a card. Soon I'll sneak them into her room. Sloane has woken to a pile of gifts every November 9 since she turned one. I try to make that single day of each year absolutely perfect. I think having one perfect day that is all about her is such a nice way to say, "I love you. You're special to me. I'm so glad to be your Momma."
Each year I place the gifts oh, so carefully and then I sit on the floor beside her bed and pray over her. I thank God for another magical year with my precious girl. Yes, I cry. Every year. Every single time I pray her birthday prayer, I cry. I have so much to thank Him for, my heart just overflows in tears.
Sloane, nearly two, November 2003 ~ photograph by Jim Mayfield
People always tell me how beautiful Sloane is. And she is. She always has been. But I always want to tell them, "You should see her heart. You should take a peek at her soul. That's her real beauty."
Sloane, last day of 6th grade, June 2014
Yes, she has long, golden hair and blue, blue eyes. Yes she is tall and well proportioned and walks with a certain grace. But, that's not it. I think people find her pretty because she is kind. She is lovely because she listens to people and cares about them. Her eyes are beautiful, not because they are the same shade as ripe blueberries, but because she really looks at you when she speaks to you. She pays attention. Sloane knows each one of my students by name and temperament. She hugs them good-bye every day when they head to the bus; not because she likes hugs. She really doesn't. She hugs them because they like hugs. Sloane is beautiful because her amazing heart shines right out of her eyes, her smile, even her hair glows with it. She shines.
Tonight, I'll pray that shine never dims. I'll pray she remains kind no matter how cruel life can be. I'll pray she continues to love people whether or not they love her back. I'll pray that she is always beautiful, no matter what time does to her body and face. I'll pray that she always shines. And, I'll thank God for every miracle day I have to be her Momma.
Happy birthday, to my darling girl. Momma loves you.