Dear Kyrene Grace, I was talking about you and your birthday blog with your dad. I told him that what I had originally wrote that day didn’t feel right. Something was off. He asked me, “as you long as you wrote it to her and no one else, then it doesn’t matter”.
After some reflection I realized that I was trying to write about you, trying to help the world see you, the way that I see you, the way that gets lost and missed by others because you can be just like me too often. But God was faithful to recall many conversations that I have been blessed to have with people who have seen YOU, the real YOU, not because of things I wrote about you or how I talk about you, because they had their own unique experiences with you and you carved a special place in their heart. So, this letter is to you, yes others are reading this on your birthday, but it’s because I want you to be celebrated. I want those who don’t get to be near you to still get a peek at Kyrene Grace Harney.
Today you are eight years old! While driving in the dark, cold, side ways rain I was brought to the memory of the two days before we met you. Your god-parents had gone in to have their special little boy. Knowing that they were holding him in their arms, witnessing the miracle of life wrapped in a tiny 6 lb. soul made your father and I so anxious. The doctor admitted us, even though your due date was 2 weeks away. The fluid that had kept you safe the last 38 weeks was too low. After the dreaded Pitocin for 12 hrs straight and no results, the team decided to give me a sleeping pill and told me to rest and we would try again in the morning. 2 hrs later I was in full blown labor. You needed to come on your own terms, not forced. Nothing has changed 8 years later. You came out crying, covered in vernex and we couldn’t believe we had such a tiny little bean to call our own.
You were easy to calm, easy to hold, easy to be around. That was your story for years. You were always patient, waiting to be fed, waiting to be changed, waiting and waiting. That role was yours and you owned it. You learned that there were two others before you that were louder and more demanding.
Over the years I watched you become the very friend and constant companion that Ezzy needed in her 4 years of isolation as we did our best to protect her. God often reminded me that you were created against all our attempts to not grow our family because Ezzy needed YOU.
When the school years came, you couldn’t contain your excitement. You were so ready. SO ready to experience on your own this whole leaving mom and making new friends. I smile that when we sat down and asked your pre-k teacher to speak plainly with us about you, she laughed and said, “oh I will”. You were competitive, always wanting to be the first, always wanting to get things right, so driven. You made my momma heart smile because I was so thankful that your ability to embrace who you were was something that you embodied at such a young age. Even though you love school and friends, ever since pre-k and still to this day, you come home and very quickly escape to somewhere quiet away from everyone else. Your soul needs to introvert to recharge after being in a world of extroverts. You know how to advocate for your mental health and you do your best to always make time for just you and yourself
I wonder why we all find ourselves asking “where is Kyre” even though we know the answer.
I love hearing teachers that don’t yet teach you tell me that you are one of their favorites they look for. Because they know you will always give them a quick squeeze and go on your day, not asking for anything from them, but instead searching for them and loving them when they need it most. I recently learned that your sarcasm is loved as well. After questioning a teacher about walking with scissors and then praising them for not hurting themselves when they finished, still shocks and makes me smile. When you made the decision to get baptized this fall, I questioned it. I was raised that it was typically something that took place in the older years of childhood. But then when I sat down with you and your dad and asked you why you wanted to be baptized you replied very matter of fact, “because this is the next step after asking him in my heart and I want to be a new creation”. You confessed your love and need of a Savior and I heard the Lord tell me, “Sarah, she KNOWS me, don’t limit her understanding of who I am according to your adult understanding…childlike faith”. We rejoiced watching you make the bold choice to enter the waters of baptism.
Your courage to handle a new class this year with none of the close friends you have had the last few years amazed me. It wasn’t easy, seeing them all continue on without you, it was hard to watch you process the change. Yet you have thrived and made friendships with new people. I commend you, knowing its hard making new friends, trusting new people when you are an introvert. Its hard to find friends that accept that alone time is not rejection, it actually makes you a better friend. How putting thoughts to words instead of letting them take residence in your head can be exhausting. I love seeing you shine and let more people in. More people to realize how tender and caring of a soul you are.
Thank you for always being there to hug me when I am struggling. The first to pray when something happens to one of us, you are quick to lay hands on us, pray over us with a solid faith that God is always listening for your sweet little voice. I love how animals are still drawn to you, that even the timidest of creatures are pulled to you. I often wonder what color you put off for them to see that you are safe (it’s a real thing…study epilepsy dogs. They see people’s auroras). I love that you are embracing your freckles, something you use to hate. You now see they make you unique and it brings the biggest smile on your face when someone mentions them.
My most favorite memory I want to share with you happened last Friday. You were finishing up your last day of swim lessons and had been so discreet when sharing all the fun you had when Ezzy was around. You would come and talk quietly about what you were learning, making sure you weren’t crushing her heart because she will never experience them. You lit up when you told me you jumped in the deep end. You are not a daredevil. Trying new things doesn’t come easily for you. Yet you did it! I came and watched you, wanting to see it for myself. I watched you with your new peer group and saw you fit in perfectly. I watched your quiet tenderness with your classmates. Watched you be the first one to turn their shirt into a floatation device. I couldn’t stop smiling. You were shining.
Kyre Grace, I pray that this coming year you continue to find peace in who God made you to be, that you continue to lean in and let others in your space. You are one very special kid. The world needs you in it, even though it can be taxing to be in it. Your awareness of others’ needs makes me relieved that you are in this world because you see lack and believe that you can help them find wholeness. Your love for God will ground you when you question your worth or where you fit in this world. He will remind you that just like a snowflake, he created you to be unique, to not be something that is copied. Happy birthday sweet girl, we love you Gracie