My precious girl just turned four on Monday.
I look at pictures from just one year ago, and I am beside myself. I can’t believe how the baby face has melted away and a little lady is emerging.
The gap between her two front teeth that once was so prominent, has closed so gradually, that I feel like I never even noticed it waving goodbye. Her blonde locks have taken off, cascading down her little back, catching up quickly to her big sister’s. I can’t believe she’s four.
Four years ago, I endured the most painful delivery of all my four. She took her sweet time making an arrival, so I decided to speed her along. I found out the disastrous way that Pitocin and “natural birth” don’t mix. Alongside wishing I had wisely avoided the incredible added pain, I have always felt as though I hijacked her birthday and have regretted rushing her every day since.
That’s Isla, though. Teaching me patience and keeping me in check. Since before Day 1, she’s been my chisel-child. The one who is shaping me continuously.
Be more patient, Mama. Trust me, Mama. I’m good, Mama. I can do this on my own.
I’ll dress myself, Mama. I don’t need your help, Mama…
She’s this little, independent, mysterious soul, and I am her constant observer.
She’s been fierce from the start. I wrote about our challenges when I was pregnant with her – the hemorrhage that loomed over her little body like a rain cloud. It didn’t bother her, though. She’s not easily affected by outside circumstances. She’s steady and stable. Fetus, infant, toddler, child…it didn’t matter…she’s always been my calm, cool, and collected child. I admire those attributes in her, and I have this feeling that they will still describe her well as a young woman one day.
But what sets Isla apart the most for me as her mama, and what I think of everytime I think of her birth, her existence…she saved me. She saves me.
After we lost EJ, Isla saved me and my mama-heart. I fought hard for her. Fought the darkness that invaded my soul. Fought the raincloud that loomed over her and the fear that came with it. Fought the 41st week of pregnancy, the intense summer heat, the ankles that were the size of He-Man’s thighs, and the Pitocin. Fought and fought and fought and won. We won. She saved me and we won. I won the greatest gift when God gave me Isla. I was already the blessed mother of Ava and EJ, but with Isla came the gift of hope. She’s my “Sunshine”, my “Bright and Shining One”.
All of my babies are so amazing and breath-taking in their own unique ways. This is Isla’s specialty. She saves her mama. On days that I want to yell and throw my own tantrums, she speaks to me in her adult tones, and she may as well be holding up a mirror, because instantly, she saves me from my ridiculousness.
I look at her and I get lost in her dark eyes. They pierce my soul, reminding me of the depth of God and His goodness, and she saves me yet again from any petty distractions I’m facing.
She climbs up next to me while I am “working” and adds her two cents to my vlogs and asks me about what I am working on, and she saves me from any loneliness that has crept into my morning as a SAH/WAHM. In a silly kind of way, she’s like my little co-worker at times.
She randomly (and frequently) talks about Baby EJ. It completely confounds us. It’s as if she somehow knows that she is EJ’s womb-buddy. They were conceived just three months apart. Although I’ve written about EJ as a daughter, she is convinced EJ is her brother and she talks about “him” as though he is a very real part of her daily life. It amazes me. When she talks about EJ, she saves me from any heartache, because I am instantly reminded of this beautiful family that God is allowing me to build during my time here.
I’m humbled daily – by a four year old.
I’m changed daily – by a four year old.
I’m moved daily – by a four year old.
I’m challenged daily – by a four year old.
I am so thankful for our sweet Isla Rae. She’s beautiful through and through. She’s our little painter and chocoholic. She can house a dozen donuts or chocolate chip pancakes in a single sitting. She is all muscle, though. Even when she was a baby, she was a teeny little muscle. She can stand on the knuckles of her feet in an amazing and totally unnatural way. lol
She can sass with the best of them and she loves being in the kitchen. She’s got the most beautiful hands and nails I have ever seen. No joke. She’s a Rockstar and one tough cookie. Dental work…doctor appointments…ER visits…she doesn’t even whimper. She loves her sisters so deeply. I can count on her to always be caring for someone. All day, every day…she’s taking care of her sisters.
She will ask me if I like her outfit, hairdo, shoes, because she’s destined to be a fashion blogger. 😉 She loves having her nails painted and is a natural dancer.
She wants to learn to play the violin and loves to swim. A cup of hot chocolate, a Hershey Kiss, a cookie… it doesn’t matter if we’re picking Ava up at school or if she’s returning home from a Daddy-daughter date, she is NEVER empty-handed when it comes to her big sister. Ava is tops in her book and Isla is always thinking of little ways to bless her.
Her mealtime prayers are especially long and almost always include a wish list of some kind along with a plea for the “people that don’t have any aw-fer-ring”. Her heart makes mine melt. Every.single.day.
Happy Birthday, sweet Isla Rae. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for refining me. I thank God for you, precious girl. You bring such strength and beauty to my world. xoxo