To My Abby {Family Letters Part II}

{Click here to first read “To My Husband: Family Letters Part I”}

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hasz17_138.jpgSweet Girl,

Today, you turned 3.5 years old. You asked for balloons, a koala to hang Christmas ornaments on (what in the world?!?), and a vanilla bean scone with white icing and your name written on it – in no particular order. You explained to me that “cow’s milk” (in contrast to almond milk) is the kind of milk that cow’s drink, chew up, and then spit back into the glass jar. You’ve asked me recently why I had lines drawn on my forehead, clearly pointing out your astute attention to details…and my wrinkles. I quickly let you know that mama “laughed a lot,” and we wouldn’t want to let those lines become frown lines, now would we?!? Nothing escapes your notice. hasz17_163.jpgView More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/hasz-family-collection

You love the camera and beg frequently for grandparents to video you smiling, dancing, jumping, biking, etc., so that you can perform for your chosen audience. You delight in laughter and movement and friends. You live in a pretend world of your own making much of the time – a world that constantly changes to fit your fancy. Your three bears always play an integral role, and you build houses, tents, forts, and beds all over the living room to cater to their needs and your particular chosen reality. Anything has possibility in your play to become something grander. You convert electrical cords (I know…I’m not always the most cautious mother) into “leashes” and tie them to various toys, which you pretend are “cats” out for a walk. You cage in your brother by moving furniture and toys around the living room and barely miss his head as you throw balls directly over him. Most of my clothespins disappeared long ago, as did the couch blankets. What girls doesn’t need a rotating set of princess capes clipped to her shoulders while she dances and sings? hasz17_154.jpg

Last night you showed up by my bed around 10 pm with your pretend cell phone in hand. “Dada,” you said, “would you please hold my phone while I go potty? I’m talking to Yaya.” I groaned. Your imagination never rests. And bedtime is a dreaded event you resist with all the force of your 3-year-old self. Thankfully, the darkness cloaked my smile though too. I can’t help but love your endless creativity.

You view nap time with similar distaste, as you turn your room into a play zone during enforced “quiet time.” You hate to miss anything. Popping up the stairs a few days ago during quiet time, you informed Grammy: “My Bear is blue.” True enough, he – and many other bedroom items – were coated in glittery blue toothpaste from a dentist’s office sample. Never again, will I make the mistake of leaving you armed with such a lethal item. After you were properly reprimanded and sent back to bed, I died with laughter.

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hasz17_136.jpgAnd while you are normally boisterous, busy, curious, adventurous, and a non-stop talker, you still have your quiet moments. Your moments of reflection stun me and give me glimpses of the deep, compassionate woman you will become. “I have two sisters in Heaven,” you told me recently. “I’ve met them, and they are with Jesus.” Little did you know, Abby, that your mama’s heart holds tightly to two little ones that came before you. Little ones that I carried but weeks in my body, but always in my heart. Two babies that I am pretty sure were both girls. “Sweet Pea” and “Mira” I call them. Tears flowed from my eyes, as I allowed the impact of your statement and childlike faith to wash over me. Oh, to see as you see. View More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/hasz-family-collection

View More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/hasz-family-collection

View More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/hasz-family-collectionYou remind me often that you love me, but that you love Jesus the most. May it always be this way. In this world of evil, I’m white-knuckled at the thought of anyone ever doing you harm, but you are Jesus’ first, and He will never leave you or forsake you. I promise. I’ve been down some dark roads, and He has still been there in the darkness. Evil has not left me unscarred, and I’ve bottled anger and guilt and low self-esteem with the best of them. But, I was not left to wallow in my pain alone. His Spirit and some pretty amazing friends have rallied around me. Again and again.

So, I pray NOT that you would never feel pain or experience sorrow. But rather that you would never be alone when storms come. I pray that you would find deep, passionate, lasting love. And, if you must, that you would open yourself up to find it again and again if loss is also in your future. I pray that you would have roots deep down in a community that appreciates and sees the real you, that cheers on the best parts of your character, and that confronts you when you are not true to yourself or to your Savior. I pray that you and I would become lasting friends one day when you are grown. A woman always needs her mama’s strength. I know I do. hasz17_126.jpg

I promise that I will always be here to provide you with haven. My arms are always open. You can’t do anything to change my love for you. That’s not how this relationship works. I held my breathe when you took your first inhales and exhales. I listened to your newborn soft mewing sounds to assure myself that you were still alive and well, swaddled in the bassinet. I memorized the way your dimples flash deep and wide with your pleasure and pucker and pout with your frustration. I’ve watched your brain create and answer its own questions. I’ve fielded “Why?” questions until I’m all out of rational reasons, and you are left to come up with your own answers. For the love.

You are undaunted. You were born into a season of change in our family’s life. And, still, you abide in that season of change with us. While we pray for answers soon, perhaps you will always view life as a grand adventure. Or perhaps we will need to help pay for your counseling in the future. JK. But, for all the ups and downs, you emerge thriving. You make friends. You find a new audience. You cling tightly to relationships with extended family. You grudgingly accept Micah into your pretend play. You come up with wild schemes for the day’s agenda and request “treats” over and over again with your sweetest of smiles. The Hasz sweet tooth is alive and well in you. hasz17_158.jpg

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hasz17_161.jpgAs I look through these Fall images, I want to weep. I remember taking 14 pregnancy tests in my shock that I was actually pregnant with you. I remember holding your Daddy tight in relief, fear, and anticipation. We weathered your high risk pregnancy, birth, and early months. I learned true sleep deprivation by your side.

Now, you blossom out of toddlerhood into the beauty of a little girl. You are silly, emotional, unpredictable, charming, persuasive, and well-spoken. You would like to be an engineer, doctor or pilot when you grow up. But, you are vacillating between a kitty cat costume or a princess Elsa costume for Halloween. At least you keep your options open.

I love you, Precious Girl. Love you deep and wide. Love you with hands open in surrender to who you are called to become. Love you with a heart that first learned the joys of motherhood with you on my chest. Love you as you spin and dance and sing your way into this next season. View More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/hasz-family-collectionView More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/hasz-family-collection

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{Photography credit Haven: Life & Photo}

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