You love watching our daughters grow up. I can hear it in your voice when you greet them, chuckle under your breath at their antics (especially the younger one), and I notice the way your eyes twinkle watching them run, skip or dance down the aisles. Sometimes they interact with you adorably, and sometimes they’re not in the mood. They are real kids. I know how much my own mother, who lives at a distance from us, misses our kids and delights in seeing kids their ages at her own church. Our extended family in other states delight in the private family blog I keep up, watching the kids grow week by week via photos and videos, phone calls and visits. But you are the people we see in person every week. You remember when the little one was “Baby Jesus” in the Christmas pageant, and her big sister was a sheep. You’ve heard their “milestones” when one got glasses, they both got bunk beds, and celebrated their birthdays.
Still, I was nervous about Girl Scout cookie sales. My goals for this thing were our oldest daughter making eye contact and speaking to adults. This is a challenge for her. For several years she had a speech delay and I probably stepped in too often to speak for her, trying to alleviate embarrassment. Then when her little sister came along, she started using the distracting little one as a way to look away, and avoid engaging adults. Now she has to engage. When our girl stood up in our pew during announcements/milestones and announced that she’s selling Girl Scout cookies, our pastor noted how brave of her that was. Then after service, you all walked right towards her. She’d made 2 sales before we even had the change envelope ready. I took little sister upstairs where I was helping in her Sunday School class, and my husband helped our Brownie take the time and space she needed to do what she was determined to do, even though it was hard. He reported two things: Her whole face including her ears were flushed red with nervousness. And everyone was so patient and sweet with her. You love, watching our children grow up.
It seems silly for this to make my eyes well up with tears. But it is not just one day of selling Girl Scout cookies. You are a safe place for us to try things that are scary, to be cheered on in our joys and embraced when things fall apart. You delight in our children as they grow, and that has a cumulative effect on my tear ducts and all of our lives. This is love. We love you too.