Saturday, November 8, 2014

another year older...

autumn in the Ozarks

Sloane turns thirteen tomorrow, and we've spent the weekend doing all her favorite things.  Her big party with friends will be next weekend because she hates to celebrate early.  Last night we played games, baked a complicated cake, and had pizza with my parents.  Today we spent the day in the woods, the place where Sloane is happiest.  She loves the woods the way I love water and Jeffrey loves the mountains.  Tomorrow we'll have a big family dinner and celebration.  And, tonight?

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.


Jeanne said...

How lovely this tribute to your beautiful daughter.
Birthday blessings Sloane


S. Etole said...

She radiates all that you have said. Happiest of birthdays to her.

Suz said...

oh beautiful
but look who her momma is
You choose the path of joy
and it shines in her
happy birthday Sloane

Mac n' Janet said...

Her beauty shines in her eyes and her outer appearance is almost as beautiful as her inner soul. You are a blessed lady to have such a wonderful daughter.
I say a prayer for my daughter every night because she is so far away (she lives in Japan) and I need the Lord to look after her.

A Cuban In London said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post. Written from the bottom of a parent's heart. I wish your daughter a happy birthday (from a fellow Scorpio). It's funny that our daughters are the same age, although mine is seven months older. Time flies, doesn't it?

Greetings from London.

Debby said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful sweet girl.

Jennifer Richardson said...

Your love for your lovely Sloane
is as beautiful as she:)

Marilynne Smith said...

What a lovely thing to do for a birthday. I'd like to go back now to the 60's and begin doing that for my daughters, but I can't. I'll just have to enjoy your post and think of how things could have been.

Happy birthday Sloane.

amelia said...

So lovely . . .

You've raised a good one, Relyn. I'm sure that shine will not dim, because it still shines brightly in you.

Warms my heart, it does.

So Happy Birthday to Sloane . . . here's hoping the celebration continues. And may this year be the best one yet!

Stephanie Faris said...

Such a sweet post! And yes, she's very beautiful.

Marilyn said...

Oh Relyn,
You honor your daughter with such beautiful words, prayers, and the love just oozes through the internet to each one that reads here. She is lucky to have you and Jeffrey. She is a very special daughter.

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

So beautiful, Relyn! Such a lovely tribute. And I LOVE your tradition of having her wake up to presents every birthday morning. She is special because YOU are special!

Georgianna said...

Her grace and beauty are a gift to all who know her, I have no doubt. Wishing your very special girl a very special day, my friend. x

Anita said...

These words are right from the heart. You have written beautifully about a parent's love for their child.
Blessings to your family!

alexa said...

Beautifully expressed - and I have a tear in my own eye. A very lovely young woman who has learnt a lot, I think, from the example of her Mum :).

Oldies, but Goodies