Matea is 16!

{NOTE: yes – there is a lot going on right now in our lives and in this world, but I’m setting all of that aside for right now to finish this post that I was working on Saturday before our lives kind of spun-out for a while there. I want to get out what we’re experiencing through all this – but for now it feels good to focus on something positive – like our positively boisterous, energetic, loving, kind 16-year-old daughter!!! So just read this like I had finished it and posted it on her birthday……}

Birthdays are odd. We get older by one day every day, and we don’t pay attention to it. We are one month older 12 times a year. Then suddenly when 12 months pass it’s a milestone. But just because I don’t see the logic behind a culturally created event – doesn’t mean it’s not real. Birthdays are a real and significant chance to see and celebrate growth and development when kids are younger. To rejoice in the gift of life. To see people move on from one stage of life to another. There are those significant milestones that we have deemed more significant than others.

Not many kids get stitches in their living room – especially without lidocaine (or any form of numbing) – but well…… Matea

So birthdays do matter. They are a chance to stop the everyday passage of time and reflect and focus on that one person. To give thanks to God for another year of life, and hopefully health. To be able to just pause a moment, and reflect on the person, the year that has passed, and what that all means.

Especially as a parent, as your kids get older, every single birthday is one that feels shocking. Did they really change that much in the past 12 months? Did they really do all that since last year? Have they really learned that, done that for the first time, started this…in only a year?

honestly….not even sure what this emergency-medical-procedure-in-our-living-room was. Because, you know, there have been several…

Which makes is hard as a parent to not be with your kids on their birthday. Matea turns 16 today. She’s in Kenya, we’re in Burundi.

If there’s one thing that pretty much everyone who has ever met Matea can agree on, is that Matea does an incredible variety of things, but the common factor is that everything she does, it’s done full-on.

Max speed.

Full volume.

All in.

(now…this may mean she does not do everything to completion, or do everything neatly, or clean up when it’s done…but it is for sure done at 100% effort while it’s being done)

Even though she’d never played on an organized team before – or actually ever played soccer before – she made the JV team this year. We watched her play – and she made up for some of her ball-handling deficiencies due to never really playing the game, with sheer speed, and aggressive play.
These two sisters have a pretty incredible bond
Matea has – and always has had – an incredible way with kids. She makes them feel loved, and cared for, and knows how to make kids laugh.
it’s always Dutch Blitz time, no matter the time, or the place

So here’s to another year of new things, of growing, learning. Of making us laugh, of keeping us all on our toes. Of caring for others, of being an example of doing what is right, regardless of what is going on.

And let’s hope that this year’s scars, will bring great stories.