It doesn’t seem possible that 4-years ago today Kristyn & I were welcoming our first child into the world. From the moment Aubri was born, she had my heart. She’s daddy’s princess & she knows it. Other men told me my life & perspective would forever change by having a daughter but it’s something you can’t understand until it happens.
Looking back over the past 4-years what stands out to me is how much Aubri has taught me. I’m the parent. I’m supposed to do the teaching but anyone with kids knows that’s not always how it works.
I thought I’d celebrate Aubri today but sharing 4 profound lessons she’s taught me over her first 4-years of life. Something tells me these lessons won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Lesson 1: Love is an issue of the heart. I know I’m biased but I’ve never met a sweeter girl than Aubri. She is most often generous. She is most often kind. She is most often more thoughtful of others than she is herself. Two Christmases ago she decided to package one of her newest dolls into a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. You can read that blog post here. Her thinking was that she had a lot of dolls & this doll would make another little girl very happy. Her thinking was right & I’ve never been more proud as a parent. Aubri has rarely had a hard time expressing her love for others because her heart is so pure. When our heart is in the right place, love comes naturally.
Lesson 2: The best parts of life are the simple things. Last week Kristyn & I had a parent teacher conference recapping Aubri’s first year of pre-school so far. They showed us a list of questions they asked Aubri during her first week of school. One of those questions asked what Aubri’s favorite thing to do was. Her response? Going to Kroger with my daddy. I almost fell apart right in the room! We’ve been to the beach, gone to movies, visited Disney World & the thing that stood out most to Aubri, in that moment, was going to Kroger with me. I think we’d all do well to find joy in the simple things of life. We might have more memories waiting for us than we realize.
Lesson 3: Grace isn’t that hard when we really want to extend it. Over a year ago I told a story on this blog about how I screwed up as a parent & lost my temper. I yelled, Aubri cried & I washed my mouth out with soap to show the kids how serious our words & actions are. It was Aubri, the one I had hurt the most in that moment, who extended grace to me & told me she loved me. She really wanted to extend grace & when we really want to extend grace it’s not as hard as we often make it.
Lesson 4: Grateful attitudes make the world a brighter place. This morning Kristyn & I woke-up Aubri up by singing happy birthday to her. She hugged us, thanked us & told us how much she loved us. We went downstairs & made her pancakes & sausage (her favorite breakfast). Before she’d even taken a bite she thanked us for the best birthday ever & it was only 8am. There is rarely a time where Aubri isn’t openly grateful about almost everything others do for her & it makes me want to do anything for her knowing she’ll notice & appreciate it. A grateful attitude shines like a light in this dark world & many of us would do well to practice it more.
Happy Birthday to my Beautiful, Wonderful Princess!