Happy Birthday, Parker Jane!

May 20, 2010

This time thirteen years ago, I was pretty convinced I was dying.  Really.  My water had broken around 1:00 a.m.; Jamie took me to the hospital around 6:00; serious contractions started around lunch time; and at 10:30 that night there was still no baby.  Parker Jane finally arrived just after midnight, via C-section, on May 21st.  Finally.  Whew.  I've always felt that the 20th should be the day we recognize.  After all, that entire day was devoted to birthing a child.  But, I guess the real celebration is her arrival and not all the work it took to make it happen!  Let me just apologize in advance for the length of this post...

See the purple bow?  When my nurse brought her to me to nurse a couple of hours after she was delivered, it was dark in my room.  I thought she had some lump or bump on her little head!

Her first public appearance came just three days later at Anna's high school graduation.  She did great!  The girl has loved being on the go her whole life.

I guess I'll just take a little photographic trip down memory lane.  Indulge me, please.

First birthday!  I made the cake with some help from my mother-in-law.  This was just her little one...  Parker slept through most of her party that year.

Her 2nd birthday party was a "Ladybug Picnic" and I'm still really proud of myself for that one!

This picture was taken that same summer at a 4th of July celebration.  I was worried she'd be scared.  Yeah, I've never worried about that since.  She's bold, that PJB!

I know I skipped some years...  This birthday was a celebration of not only turning 6 but of surviving kindergarten as well.  Kindergarten was rough!  Coincidentally, her teacher retired at the end of that year.

I miss this little girl!  FYI -- those are not bangs.  They're those annoying (OK, sweet) little baby hairs that just seemed to keep coming in.  I was a little worried that her hairline might extend down to her eyebrows.  Thankfully, that didn't happen!

PJB had to be completely and totally bribed to wear this festive little number.  I'm sorry, Parker.  Molly was smart enough to have a meltdown when I tried to put it on her.  As classic as it is, it left us by way of Growing Kids before Lilah grew into it.  Tragic.

I love this shot!  Parker was old enough by the time Lilah arrived to really have big sis duties.  Sometimes she overshot (we won't mention the Thanksgiving face-plant here).

PJB has made some good friends through the years!  Last year's party was lots of fun.  I think we'll repeat it with Molly in a year or two.

This child just can't take enough pictures of herself posed in front of a mirror.  And she edits them.  On Picnik.  It's pretty cool because she has a good eye and I've enjoyed seeing what she does.  I wonder if she'll get her own camera for her birthday this year....hmmmm....

Her favorite locale for shooting is in the master bathroom.  It's weird.  I'm not gonna pretend otherwise.  All the other kids do it, too,though...

I am sort of having a difficult time with the fact that PJB is a bona fide teenager now.  She can have her own Facebook page (legally). 

Parker, I'm pretty sure you have no idea I blog about our family (nor does 99.9999999% of America) and I'm pretty sure you'd be completely mortified by it if you did know.  I'll just pretend you're going to read this...maybe I'll make you.

Daddy and I don't tell you enough, but we are very proud of you and very blessed that God gave us a brilliant, beautiful, and bold daughter like you.  I know a few years ago we went through a period that was very tough for our family.  You've heard arguments you shouldn't have; you've known more about finances and faults and failures on our parts than you should have.  I wish I could rewind and prevent those difficult situations from ever happening.  You're a stronger person because of it, though.  I promise. 

This "tween" and now teen stage has been hard for me.  I wish we were closer, that you would confide in me and talk things over with me much more than you do.  It's hard for me to give you the space you need, but I try to respect that you're sort of a private person which is surprising to me.  I would never have though that someone who talks as much as you and who is as friendly and outgoing as you would hold things in at times like you do. 

I'm getting a little tearful here, so I'm going to wrap this up.  You're entering a wonderful stage in your life.  In the next five to 10 years so much going to happen.  I can't even begin to list all the prayers I have in my heart for you.  I know that you know Jesus and I guess the most important prayer I could ever pray for you is that you'll seek Him in everything.  I mean it.  In everything.  You won't want to look back at these years with regret.  Yes, you're going to make mistakes.  Learn from them.  Don't make huge mistakes.  Please.

Daddy will be home from work in a little bit.  Our plan is to wake you up at 12:21 and have a little birthday celebration with you since dad hasn't really seen you all week.  He misses you.  Please remember that as difficult as these next years are going to be for you and me, Dad is probably going to have an even harder time.  I wish we could have stopped time 8 years ago and relived over and over the sweet times the two of you had together.  Do you remember how he took you to breakfast nearly every Friday of you kindergarten year?  That was such a big deal to you both. 

I love you more than you will EVER know.  Ever. 

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