On Sunday Hannah graduated from high school at a service in our church. It was lovely with favorite hymns and special music. The graduates shared their testimonies of how God has worked in their lives. The parents also gave testimonies. Here is mine:
"So Hannah graduates today. You would think that by the third child it gets easier. When Hannah came into our family as the third child, we though that it would be easier. I mean, we had this parenting thing down! Right?
Abby was potty trained and Nathalie was drinking form a cup. So really how hard could child number three be? From the beginning, Hannah seemed to be determined to show us...
Despite being the third child Hannah has accomplished some firsts for our family:
The first to see Norwich at 4AM on a Sunday... at age six months while being driven around by her dad to get her to fall asleep.
The first Smith kid to get stitches...at just eighteen months old.
The first to be threatened with being left on the side of the road... at age three... in Kentucky.
And she is the one Smith girls to never be stuck in a tree.
Some lessons we have learned from living with Hannah over the last 17 1/2 years:
Sometimes you just don't know why you are crying.
God forgives us when we are sorry for our poor choices and we should forgive each other.
Sometimes the best choice we can make is to organize the pantry... alphabetically.
An Australian or British accent can make almost any situation better.
And, probably the biggest lesson that we have learned with Hannah: we don't always know God's plan, be we can trust that He has one,a nd He intends it for our good. We just need to be sure we are walking with Him.
How hard can it be to graduate the third child from high school? Like raising the third child, it's not as easy as you would think. Letting go of your kid and watching them make their own choices and suffer the consequences, is probably one of the scariest and most difficult things a parent must do. But we are choosing to trust God's plan. That He is faithful even when we fail, and He knows what is best for Hannah even better than we do.
My stubborn, compassionate, empathetic to a fault, girly-girl, and third-in-line, Hannah is graduating and it really isn't any easier.