There are no words to describe how blessed we feel that our Jillian attends such an incredible, amazing public elementary school. She is valued there beyond anything that I could have ever hoped for. Her teachers, her peers, the school nurse, the office staff, the other parents..even the lunch lady..love my girl. It blows me away continually.
It is no surprise given the kindness that she is shown every day at school that she is included in just about everything. She has been invited to many birthday parties, and it always makes me tear up when she brings an invitation home. As a momma of a very special child, you hope and pray that others will call her friend. You beg with God for a small tribe to come alongside her, and get her the way you do. Well, my prayers continue to be answered as this girl has some truly special peers.
Earlier this month, her friend Lauren turned eight and invited her to her art birthday party. We went to the store early Sunday morning before church, and selected a gift for her friend. My Jilly stood next to me in the arts and crafts aisle, and selected a craft kit just as any other seven year old girl might. She signed excitedly "party" all throughout church because she knew that we were headed there that afternoon. When we arrived at the party, she greeted her friend, explored her house, and smiled so big. When it was time to paint our creations on canvas, my girl grabbed the brush, and painted blue-gray wave motions signing beach while four other girls at her table cheered her on. She tried on the props at the photo booth. She sat at the table while they ate walking tacos. She watched her friend open gifts, played kickball, and had a wonderful time.
Perhaps the most miraculous part of the day though was when my precious little treasure stood at a table full of sixteen girls, sang happy birthday, and ate a piece of cake. This was the first time she had every eaten birthday cake! Before my baby came to me, this would be a moment that I would take for granted. It wouldn't have even been blog worthy that my seven year old daughter was smashing up and eating cake, but my Jilly has taught me so much about what a true miracle in the making these every day moments are for her.
I love the Matthew West song "Mended".
The lyrics say..
When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home
(AND MY FAVORITE PART)
So hold on, it's not the end
No, this is where love's work begins
I'm making all things new
And I will make a miracle of you
My baby girl is the physical representation of this song. She is a miracle whose brokenness is being repaired daily by a God whose story for her is so much bigger than any special need label she wears or any trauma that her past has handed her. What an incredible blessing to be on this journey beside her. Hopefully the sobbing momma sitting next to her at the cake table won't deter her friends from inviting her to the next party.