She is fiercely independent, this little one. She pulls her hand away when I try to walk with her, and she is determined to carry a snack and sippy cup and walk down the stairs "by self." She climbs and runs and throws herself head first without reservation onto any patch of grass she can find and yells "Safe!" (We can thank daddy for that one). She swam in the lake all summer, and while it took a few times for her bravery to show up, once it did she wanted no help, no hovering mama nearby; just the freedom to walk and float and jump and look proudly back at the shore to yell "I swimming, mama!" This girl loves the wide-open, no boundaries, run fast kind of life. That mostly scares me to death and more than one time my heart has fallen to my stomach watching her be daring, but truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way for this girl.
My life needed a daughter like this: one that is so very opposite of me. I clung to my mother's leg until preschool, then cried when she left me there. Harper would stroll through the neighborhood looking for flowers and rocks by herself if I let her. She was born with a sense of adventure that I think I am still looking for in life.
There is no end to the humbling that twenty-one months of parenting this beauty has been for me. No end to the joy, either. I don't really know what I am doing, and so much of how her dad and I learn is by trial and error, lots and lots of error. There have been days that I'm beyond tired and weary and cry over the thought that she might be the teenager who is not afraid to sneak out of the house and let boys drive too fast with her in the car. But there are other days when I am bursting with gratitude that she might sneak Bibles in to a closed country or help rescue young women trapped in the brothels of India. And also tell those fast-driving boys they can't touch nothing with her. I pray relentlessly for the later.
I do not know what God has in store for you, Harper Kristin. But you can be sure that I am going to point you to him every step of the way. We will both make mistakes on this journey, but I promise to be good at both "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you." I'm am so thankful God let me be your mama, sweet girl. You make me laugh and cry and want to swoop you up in may arms and snuggle you tight, until you wiggle free, because you weren't made to held back, were you? Let's go get life together.