THE BIRTHDAY EVE STRUGGLE.

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My heart isn’t ready for Ellie to turn one tomorrow. This year has flown by far too quickly, and I’m just not ready for my baby to not be a baby anymore. I remember feeling this way the night before EC’s first birthday—and every birthday since. Why is the Birthday Eve always so hard for me? I wish Ellie could stay a baby forever, but I also know that the fun days of discovery are ahead. How can my heart break at the thought of time passing too fast and burst at the thought of watching her grow all at the same time??? The struggle is oh so real.

But tonight God reminded me that there’s someone else who needs Ellie to grow more than I need her to stay little.

As I rocked Ellie to sleep in her room for the last time before she turned one year old, EC came creeping in. And while she tried her best to be quiet, it just wasn’t going so well. Ellie was almost asleep when she heard her sister “whispering” to me (if you’ve ever heard a kid whisper, you know that sometimes it can be louder than when they use their normal speaking voice).

As soon as she heard her sister, Ellie became the wide-eyed jabbering baby I had just calmed down.EC tried to hide, but Ellie leaned over the front of the chair and jabbered something as if she were saying “gotcha!” in a game of hide-and-seek.

There was no denying the fact that Ellie was wide awake, so I let EC climb into the chair with us. And that’s when the giggling started.

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They tickled each other and threw their heads back in laughter until they literally wore each other out. Once they fell asleep, I held them for a while, taking in the moment.

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As I was about to try to figure out a way to get up without waking them both, Ellie rolled toward EC and they threw their arms on each other. I was so glad I let EC climb into the chair.

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Yes, it was past their bedtime. Yes, I had lots to do around the house. And yes, it was supposed to be my “last time I’ll rock my baby” moment, God reminded me that she is so much more than that. She is a giggling, goofy ticklish sister to my first baby, who grows more fun by the minute. He reminded me that while it is important to treasure the past year, the best is yet to come because it only gets more fun from here.

And while I was trying to wrap my head around the concept that a year had flown by at warp speed, I knew that this was exactly how the last night of my baby’s first year should be spent—holding my two girls while they giggled until they passed out.

Tonight, I was prepared to shed tears as I put Ellie to bed the night before her first birthday. But God reminded me that there’s laughter—there will always be laughter.

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