Today is my sweet Sophie’s 5th birthday! For her birthday this year, Sophie’s grandparents gave her a butterfly themed birthday gift, from a craft to a sweet twirly dress. Her grandma commented, “A beautiful butterfly… she has come out of her chrysalis this year.” I was struck by such a beautiful and perfect symbol for Sophie’s year. Although many days I have faced frustrations and discouragement with her, in reflecting on her year as a whole, I can see so clearly that her journey this past year has been beautiful.
When she turned 4, Sophie’s speech had begun exploding, but mostly at home. She was very shy around everyone else. Over this year, we have seen her emerge from her shell, gaining confidence to speak to others outside our home, and learning sass and spunk in her speech. Speaking fully in complex sentences now, some of Sophie’s favorite things to say these days include “I know what I’m doing, Mommy,” and “Don’t tell me what to do, Micah,” as well as “I’m just joking!” When I called her the “birthday girl” recently, she replied, “No, I’m not the birthday girl. I’m the birthday lady!” Spunky and sassy to be sure!
This Sunday as we came into church, Sophie saw her best little buddy, Isabella. She ran up and greeted her with a hug and said, “Hi, friend.” A year ago, she was only beginning to emerge from her shell; she would have been too shy for such a greeting. Our friends and family were lucky to get a wave a year ago, but now we see moments like this everyday.
This tiny gift which graced our lives 5 years ago has taught me so much. My mother often says that a woman’s true education begins when she becomes a mother. In many ways this is true for me. My journey with Sophie has developed in me a grit, a determination, a courage that I didn’t possess before her. I have stared bad news in the face and chosen to trust God anyways. I have faced discouragement and fear but kept walking forward in faith. I have watched my sweet girl show more determination and perseverance than many adults I know. As Sophie turns 5, we still face discouragement, bad news, fears, but we have also seen our beautiful butterfly emerging from her chrysalis. It has been breathtaking watching our sweet butterfly emerge and show the world her beautiful colors this year.