My daughter invited me over for lunch last Sunday after church. As she prepared cheeseburgers and fixings for herself, her husband, their four kids and me, along with whichever of the neighborhood children happened to come by, I glanced over at my granddaughter, Ellie, who was mixing up some gluten-free brownies. Instead of a little girl, I saw — gasp! — a young woman.
“There’s another adult in here!” I exclaimed to my daughter. Emily said, “I know! A week from today, she will be 15 years old.”
That day is today, and I still marvel that the tiny creature who weighed just under 6 pounds at this time 15 years ago is now as tall as her mother and on the verge of learning to drive. How did that happen?
Of course, this should come as no surprise. After all, my own children are now in their 40s and time marches by whether I’m ready for the parade or not. Sometimes I feel like I’m still in my 40s so how could my children be that age? Shoot, there are times when I would swear I’m still 15 or 16 with no concerns other than finishing my homework and hanging out with my friends.
Fifteen years ago today … Wow. Talk about memories churning up, fast and furious. First is the actual day of her birth. Emily called me early that morning to say she was on the way to the hospital, and Ms. Fumble Fingers here was almost too excited to dress properly. There’s nothing like the upcoming meeting with your first grandchild to make even the most mundane things like putting your underwear on properly feel like you’re creating the next manned space vehicle. Thank goodness, I was properly dressed when I got to the hospital and had settled in to wait for the bun to pop out of the oven.
As Ellie grew from a baby into a toddler and little girl with a mind and personality uniquely her own, she was all little girly-girl pinks and sparkles and princess dress-up clothes yet with a competitive streak and a taste for sports, including softball and University of Tennessee football. Nowadays, she’s more of a tomboy than a princess dress-up, although at the instigation of friends, she is taking a class in ballroom dancing. So is her 12-year-old brother, much to his dismay, but we won’t go into that!
Ellie is still interested in sports, and right now, wrestling intrigues her. She’s just as likely to get either of her brothers in a headlock and pin them to the floor as she is to do anything else. I admit, I am comforted by that, seeing as it won’t be long before she’s dating. If a guy gets out of line, she will know what to do. It will probably save his life, since any ill treatment will result in a “prayer meeting” with her two brothers, her dad, her Uncle Adam … if he survives her mom and her Mamaw Albert.
My birthday message to Ellie is this: You blessed our lives when you arrived 15 years ago today and you have continued to bless us every day since. Seeing the fine young woman you are becoming is amazing. Your compassion, the way you care for your baby sister and your sense of humor are only a few of the qualities I admire about you. You’re smart, you’re capable of great things, you’re beautiful in every way. Always remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Happy birthday, Ellie.
I love you!