My mother tells me I was quite the bossy child. I think she may have even heard that confirmed by my kindergarten teacher, who commented politely on my skills in directing the other 5-year-olds. I wasn't even a first-born, but I did have quite a few years -- six, to be exact -- at practicing being the youngest. Then my parents informed me that there would be another baby coming. I remember being excited about helping pick out a name, and the fun of baby blankets and other baby gear being bought. Sure, I was excited about the baby, too, but I have a feeling that was mostly due to the fun I thought the baby would bring to my world. I would control the baby.
The baby turned out to be a sister, named Karyn, who was not about to fit into my box, literally or figuratively. (I believe this would not have been the case if they had only spelled her name with an "e".) She was very cute, with lots of wispy blond curls, and she sang, all the time. She sang while refusing to play the way I wanted her to, and she sang while she cut off my Barbie's hair. She sang when we wrapped her up like a mermaid, and she sang like a canary when she told on me.
I know that I am a better person today because I have a younger sister. She challenged me to shed some of my controlling bubble, and she inspired me -- and still does -- to think of others' needs before my own. We sing together.
But God knew I needed more work. Fast forward a couple decades, one husband, and four children. I still, with four children under four, thought that I needed to be in control. I thought, "ok, four. I can handle four." So, when my twin babies were 14 months old, on a cool March morning in 2004, the Lord gave me another Karyn. We named her Leah Hope. She has wispy blond curls and sings, all the time. She sings at the school table while I am doing spelling words with her brother, and she sings while we travel down the road. When the rest of us do one thing, Leah does the other, and waits for us to catch up.
I am a better mother by far because of the miracle that is our Leah. I am so thankful that God moved beyond us and gave her to us. Today, she has turned four years old. Happy Birthday Leah!
Here's Leah today, on her birthday