My Dearest Grace,
The hour is early…4:00 am to be exact, but I am wide awake on this special day. Today you are legally an adult. (Where have the years gone?!) Today you turn 18 years old, and as I sit in the darkness of my room, lit only by the screen of my computer, I can’t help but reflect back on the past 18 years.
Because you have been a part of Daddy’s and my life together from almost the beginning I have a hard time recalling a time in my adult life when you weren’t there. I wasn’t too much older than you when I married Daddy at age 19 and you eagerly arrived fresh from heaven 9 months later.
I grew into the person I am today as you grew in my arms. I learned how to be a mother as I cared for you (making many mistakes along the way, I’m sure!)
I remember vividly that day you made your appearance after 13 hours of labor. Mimi and Daddy were by my side as I struggled through the effort of helping you enter the world. I was so tired and felt I couldn’t give anymore and then there you were…so precious with your full head of dark hair.
I remember holding you in the dimly lit room of the hospital, after everyone had gone home for the night, marveling at your perfection, and marveling at this new overwhelming feeling of love that left me breathless. In that darkened room, as I lay there overcome with love for you, I finally really began to understand the love my Heavenly Father has for me and it left me feeling incredibly humbled.
You were a typical first born child…with all the blessings and burdens that role carries. Beginning from the time you were a wee little thing you were obedient, social, responsible, dependable, and a caretaker to those smaller than you…in particular your siblings.
You have managed the responsibility of eldest child with remarkable grace, truly living up to your name. I have watched you work your way through challenges and struggles, disabilities and heartbreaks, and do so with a sweetness, humility, and strength that far exceeds your age.
I know that it was with great purpose that God sent you to earth first, knowing what a strengthening force your example would be to your younger siblings.
You have truly been a joy to parent!
Today you turn 18. And although you still have another year at home (which I am so grateful for!!) know that Daddy and I have no doubt that you will do amazing things in your adult life. Heavenly Father has a great plan for you and I am just thrilled to get to watch that plan come to fruition as you continue to blossom.
I love you Miss Grace!
Love, Your Momma
It is a BIG day at Patchwork Farm as we witness our first child becoming an adult…EEK! The day began, as all our birthdays do, with the birthday girl being awakened by a birthday serenade and cake.
The process began early due to it being a co-op day. Grace asked if she could open her birthday gifts before co-op and we agreed. All of her sibling put great thought into their gifts for their big sister.
Toby and I gave Grace a token gift, reflective of the real gift she will be receiving for her 18th birthday. Grace is a HUGE fan of Downton Abbey, and her birthday request for celebrating her 18th birthday is a Downton Abbey tea party with Molly and I, my mom, my sister and Lydia, her younger cousin. The planning is in the works but it won’t happen for a few months. Our gift to her is a handmade Downton Abbey tea gown for the occasion. A friend of ours who is a talented seamstress is making Gracie’s birthday gift from us. The gift she opened today is a token of the real gift that is on the way.
Because of the timing of Gracie’s birthday this year (with it being on a Wednesday) it played out differently than a “typical” birthday day in our house. Today we went to co-op where Gracie’s ongoing birthday surprise from Olivia continued. (That grand gift is deserving of its own blog post….which I will post soon.)
Then Grace shared a birthday treat with her co-op friends. Typically the kids bring cookies or cupcakes to share, but Grace wanted to do something different this year. After all 18 is a BIG deal! Check it out:
When we returned home from co-op and Ozzie’s OT we had about two hours before we had to leave for church activities in the evening. Gracie decided last week what she wanted to do on her birthday…and it was SO fitting!
Every Monday (for the past few Downton Abbey seasons) the girls and I go into my room during lunch break and watch Sunday’s Downton Abbey episode together. This Monday we decided to postpone watching THE FINAL EPISODE *sob* until Gracie’s birthday. With the theme of her 18th birthday party and gift being Downton Abbey themed it was sweet serendipity that the final episode was released on her birthday week. We brewed some of her Downton Abbey rose tea and watch the lives of the characters we have come to love play out for the final time.
(PS- It was amazing!! Everything we had hoped for tied up with a nice little bow.)
Then it was off to our final stop for the night: swimming at the YMCA for my boy scouts who are working on their swimming merit badges, and church activities for the other three.
It was a special day, for a special girl, on this very special birthday!
“Happy Birthday, dear Gracie. Happy Birthday to you!”