At age five, jackie stubbornly practices her independence. She has a lot of freedom, though at times I consciously keep pulling back, as I hear myself nagging about this and that.

A while ago she started taking our dog for the morning walk through the neighborhood. There she was, at 7 am, skipping on the sidewalk, dog in leash. Quite the sight, making all parents envious of such a jolly brave young girl.

A few nights ago she took care of her bath routine by herself. She filled the tub, poured bubble shampoo, got in, played, washed, drained the tub, got out, put her housecoat on, combed her hair, brushed her teeth, dried her hair, got dressed and chose her story to read at bed time.

Does she even need us anymore? Is she preparing for independence early? She asked me if I was proud of her. How could I not be? She watches and learns, then she’s eager to try it herself. I see myself in her. Quite a bit. I had detached my immediate needs from my family early on. But then it was room for balanced love.

As she grows up too fast, I remember my two hopes and prayers for her. That she would know God personally, and that she would seek and enjoy our company as an adult.

The best part? We can’t take any credit for her awesomeness. 

The best we can do is not squish her spirit, and for us to abide in Vine.