+[a pause for celebration]+

Last night we sat at Cheap Taco Night and I watched her, loud and proud, joking, poking and stirring up her sister and father at dinner.  Quietly I watched.  They bring a side out in her which I cannot.  I love that.  It made me think of this quote from CS Lewis:

"In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out.  By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets..." - The Four Loves

There is something in her that only her father can fully bring out.  And something different that her sister becons.  Same for her aunt and her grandmother.  And yet something else which I do as well.    Thus, we all know her differently, yet still know her well.

This weekend we will celebrate her.  These upcoming 7 days hold her annual birthday tea,  her Date Day and purity ring presentation with her father and her Coming Of Age trip with me.    This weekend we will pause from all our regular and holiday activity to walk her over that imaginary line from childhood to adulthood.   Weve worked toward this time for thirteen years!  Always our goal was to train the girls that they would be able to function (in thought and practicality) as adults by their thirteenth birthday.  Not that they always would, or would even (hopefully) have to, but that they could.    And now, we're there with Peyton.

I watched her make countless animated faces in conversation and expression last night and listened as her dry humor cut through the words.  I watched her eyes soften as they met mine.  I watched it all.  Like her sister, her heart  walked over this "entering adulthood" line a few months before her actual birthday - you can see in her eyes and words if you know what to look for.  I think thats how it should be.  I am thankful.  She wants and needs more independence now.  Wants and needs more responsibility, thus privilege, now.  Wants to be heard and listened to more than counseled now.   As her dad says, "We have deposited most everything into her being that we can now.  From this point on, it will be mostly her decision as to how to draw out and utilize those deposits.  From this point on we continue to walk with her, but no longer carry her." 

And so, we will take these next 7 days and place the mantle of womanhood upon her.  After all, everyday of her childhood we worked to give more freedom, not less, with each day.  Its now time for the awards ceremony from all those years of training! 

We will speak of and toast her childhood and all it held, and did not hold.  Her father will talk to her once more of his love and commitment to her, giving her a token to wear until the day her husband places his ring to symbolize the same.  And I will take her away for a few days where she and I can revisit all the familiar conversations about maturity which now fully move from thought to action.  And, at the same time,  we (as women together) will feast and dance and play and celebrate the life she has been given, the purposes set before her (whatever they may be) and the God who orchestrated it all.

This Coming of Age celebration is one of my favorite mothering moments.  I thank the Lord that He let me be here, with her, to walk this far. 

**you can see Savannahs Coming of Age trip here, and my thoughts on the whys of doing a trip like this here.