Celebrating Milestones

I’ve had the privilege of calling dances for several 18th Birthday parties, and, as I was getting ready for the party last weekend, I began thinking of all the different milestones that people celebrate. I remember our eldest daughter’s first birthday and the relief we felt that both she AND her parents had made it through their first year. A sixteenth birthday often heralds in a new era of mobility with a driver’s license. We celebrate baptisms, graduations and weddings as well. But there is something special about an 18th birthday, especially when a daughter has been home schooled. For those of us who years ago looked at our small child and decided to take on the responsibilities of educating that child ourselves, an eighteenth birthday is chance to celebrate all that we’ve managed to impart and teach, and then hand over the reins of responsibility to this new young adult. The party last weekend was made even more special because the young lady got to share this birthday celebration with her good friend, and as part of the preparation, they spent time together making new dresses and wreaths for the event. There is so much joy when family and friends come together to celebrate milestones.

A Mother's Song

When my first child was born, I used to sing to her every night while rocking her in the rocking chair that my mother gave me as a baby shower gift. Sometimes I would sing a familiar lullaby or make up a little tune to hum. As she got older, we continued to rock and sing every night, but she began to choose the songs. One of her favorites was Rain Drops On Roses, and I can’t remember how many times I’ve sung that song over the years. Eventually a brother and sister joined her in the rocking chair, and the tradition of singing a bedtime song continued every night for years and years.

This weekend, our two broody hens hatched out a bunch of very cute, yellow chicks. It was fun to sit and watch the mamas cluck and encourage the chicks, even while the babies were still in the eggs. It almost seemed like a little song that the mamas were singing, and from inside the eggs, we could hear the chicks sing back.

Now that the chicks are two days old, the mama hens takes them out in the yard and show them where to find bugs and grass. But in the evening, she clucks her bedtime song to the chicks, and then all her little masterpieces come running to snuggle under her warm feathers and listen to her song.

When my son was a small boy, one of his favorite bedtime songs was, “You are a Masterpiece” by Sandi Patty, and went it like this:

“Before you had a name or opened up your eyes
Or anyone could recognize your face.
You were being formed so delicate in size
Secluded in God's safe and hidden place.

With your little tiny hands and little tiny feet
And little eyes that shimmer like a pearl
He breathed in you a song and to make it all complete
He brought the masterpiece into the world.

You are a masterpiece
A new creation He has formed
And you're as soft and fresh as a snowy winter morn.
And I'm so glad that God has given you to me
Little Lamb of God, you are a masterpiece.
And now you're growing up your life's a miracle
Everytime I look at you I stand in awe
Because I see in you a reflection of me
And you'll always be my little lamb from God

And as your life goes on each day
How I pray that you will see
Just how much your life has meant to me.

And I'm so proud of you
What else is there to say?
Just be the masterpiece He created you to be.”

I think that maybe I heard our mama chicken singing that very song!