I have been in complete denial for 2 months now. And I realized it's because I'm grieving. You know how there are 5 stages of grief? And they can all come in a different order. I have accepted the fact that I'm "grieving" over the loss of my daughter's "childhood," so I guess that's at least a good step. But I still feel like I'm stuck in the denial stage. It isn't possible that my little girl has turned 12, because I swear it was just yesterday that she looked like this:
Our Sunday School lesson a few weeks ago was about 3 Nephi Chapter 17, where Christ visits the Nephites and blesses the little children. We were discussing the fact that Jesus wept because his joy was full. This chapter in the Book of Mormon took on a whole new meaning for me, because I immediately thought of the birth of my first child, and how I wept because my joy was so full. Jesus knew those little children, just as he knows each of us, and just as we know our own children. And that chapter is so sacred that many things could not even be written. It was interesting that the main thing I was focused on during the whole lesson was my oldest child. The one with the sweet spirit and the strong testimony, despite her mother's inadequacies.
Turning 12 is a pretty big deal for a Latter-day Saint girl. She has now graduated from Primary, and attends Young Women instead. She goes to Mutual every Wednesday night, and this past Friday, she went on a trip with the youth in the ward to the open house of the newly renovated Boise Temple. I'm still wondering when this whirlwind of my daughter becoming a woman is going to slow down and come into focus in my brain. Because like I said, I am in denial. So it has taken me two months to post a birthday picture, but here is my first step in accepting reality: