Every parent believes their child is special. I am, without a doubt, no exception. However, I really, really think mine is special. She's just not your ordinary kid, I tell you! She's different. In a good way. There is so much personality crammed into one recnetly-turned-6-year old body...living with Karis is like unwrapping a wonderful gift at each new stage her life brings.
One aspect to Karis' personality that keeps us entertained is her creativity. It is also one of the more demanding aspects of parenting her as it means craft supplies EVERYWHERE. All the time. And many of these are gifts that she is making for someone. And though I'm not positive, I have a feeling that when she doesn't feel like putting away her latest creation she has discovered that the easiest solution is to give it to mom. And since I can't tell when she genuinely wants me to have something or when it's just a cop-out for cleaning up, I accept it with a smile. And perhaps a comment about how it's the most wonderful thing I've ever seen.
The fact that she is a hoarder also does not help.
But it's this creative side that adds so much life to our household. How many of you find....
Though Karis loves to creative with her hands, that in itself is merely an outlet for her creative mind. The things she says, the questions she asks and the things we find written in her oh-so-cute handwriting add even more to the atmosphere of our home. Jonathan noticed the sequence of leaves that she added to our Thanksgiving Tree this year. Notice "God's love" up top and then read them from left to right.
A few times I've found it frustrating (an extra 30 seconds of work added to my day) but I know that one day...one day, I will walk into the bathroom and will miss all the signs of Karis-life that surround me now. One day I will look at the fire place and think about how boring it looks without that pink tutu. I'll miss the average of 5 envelopes a day I receive from my little girl that are stuffed with stickers, notes and sometimes small items that originally were gifts I had given to her. I forget what life was like before scotch tape could be found on every flat surface of the house...and I already miss not having that as a part of my life. I can't imagine life in our home without Karis and the blessing that she brings. I hope I can savor every moment and fight the temptation to live life as if it will always be this way, for I know it won't.
This post could end up being 300 pages long. I love writing about my child as much as I love living with her! But I'll try to keep it readable to the outside world and want to share one more aspect of Karis' life that is making this world a better place.
It's her heart.
Karis has such a genuine concern for other people. She was faithful to remind me that we needed to pray for my granddaddy every night for months this year. And though she hadn't seen him in close to a year and didn't have too close of a relationship with him (due to distance), when I told her one night that he had passed away, she cried. And she talked about him for several days. She talks about the orphans around the world and wants to share her leftovers with them. She was absolutely distraught that Operation Christmas Child wouldn't let her fill a copy-paper box full of goodies instead of a shoe box. In fact, something happened the day we were filling her box that reveals how generous of a heart my little girl has.
We were walking into Wal-Mart and were greeted by kids who were holding white buckets saying "help us help others." I looked at the table they had set up and noticed that they were going to be having a food drive for the homeless. So I gave Karis $1 and said "would you like to put this in their bucket?" She was glad to do so and came back smiling.
At the end of our wally-world shopping experience and as we were walking out the door she informed me that she would like to give some of her own money (from her little pink change purse). Usually she has some change in there and so I said sure and watched as she crossed the street back over to the kids. It took her longer then expected but she came back beaming. "Good job, kiddo" I said. She then said "I gave them my $5 mom!" "uh...you had paper money in there?" "yes, my $5 birthday money I put in the bucket." I was a bit surprised that 1) she had her birthday money in her purse and 2) she gave it away. But I was proud of her and I knew that the Lord would bless her for her generosity. So I said...
"well that was nice, they're going to help feed hungry people who don't have food." "They are?" she asked, rather surprised. "well, yeah" I said. "What did you think it was for?" And this, my friends, brought tears to my eyes. She explained "I thought they wanted to buy a toy, and that boy didn't have much in his bucket like the girl did so I gave mine to him."
I don't know if this astounds you like it does me. I mean, I'm very touched when Karis wants to give of her abundance to those who are obviously less fortunate than her (orphans in third world countries, etc). But honestly, many of us would give out of our abundance if the need were staring us smack in the face. But how many of us would look at somebody our equal, who was wanting (or so we thought) the same thing that we wanted and then give them the means to help them get it, even though that would mean we could no longer get it ourselves? Does that make sense? Karis gave her money to a kid she didn't know so that he could buy a toy he didn't need. And in so doing she forfeited her opportunity to buy herself a toy with that same money. I'm not suggesting that she be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but this is a reflection of my little girl's heart. And it's a generous heart. She's going to change the world.
I'd love to write more but it would make for a way too lengthy post and I am now being summoned by the baby of the house...she is hungry.
Here are just a few b-day pics taken on her special day....