Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 19

December 19
Daddy Daughter Day for Shiloh

 Shiloh needs lots of hugs and "I loves you"s. She needs to be listened to and actually heard. It brightens her whole world when someone demonstrates that they really "get" her. This sounds like a lot of work, but the truth is, when she feels loved, she is extravagant in it's return. Because she is sensitive and a little thinned-skinned, she is gentle with other people. She is quick to encourage and lend a hand. She will find the left-out kid on a field and invite them to play. She cheers for the underdog. She will love the people around her with a depth and breadth that is astounding. She takes some very deliberate investment, but the returns are beyond worth it.

A great example of this happened this morning. I walked into the kitchen to find a bowl of cereal as well as two pieces of toast on the table. Beside them was this card....

Yesterday, Shiloh and Selah decided to create her own big big sister holiday. Shiloh made a card that she had Selah sign, then woke Selah up early so they could make Hannah breakfast together. I wish I could articulate how beautiful this was. I can't think of a better way to begin a day.

Because of Shiloh's very soft disposition, time spent alone with one of us means more to her than the others. Not that the other kids don't love that special attention, but to Shiloh it is more life-giving than anything else we do.

For their Daddy Daughter Date, Alex took her to the H2O. She LOVES the swimming pool there and although she really likes it when we all go together, she sometimes gets frustrated trying to keep up with her older siblings. Going there and having Alex's full and undivided attention was a rare and wonderful treat. The grin on her face as well as the thousand words a minute story was proof of her appreciation.

Sometimes people ask us if we regret getting married and having kids so young. Certainly, there have been some sacrifices and some dreams that have been set-aside for the most youthful parts of our lives. I would not tell my daughters that getting married at seventeen and having four kids before their twenty-third birthday is for everyone. However, I honestly can't think of anything I was dreaming about before kids that was worth more than this. 

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