I was recently reminded of a plaster-of-Paris model I have of my face from when I was 12 years old. My teacher was very creative and wanted to make a mask for a school play that fitted my face really well. I laid really still on the couch in the classroom with vaseline smeared all over my face for what seemed like an eternity with stuff (I think it was plaster of paris? But, surely not..?!) leaking between my closed eyelids, while we made an impression of my face. It was probably the best mask for a school play ever.
I went and found the model and as I looked at it I began thinking about my 12 year old self....and the years ahead...
life is simple now - you run on hills, make cakes from dirt, watch no tv and never have homework.
in 1 year from now you will be on your own, living away from your parents, and going to a much bigger school in the city. there will be classmates rolling tinnies in your first class. there will be girls complaining that they can't sleep with their boyfriends on the weekend because they have their periods, before you've even had your first one.
you will live with hundreds of other girls who are, also living away from their parents. you will notice that one has carved "hate" into the pale skin on her arm. you will notice the skinny one who is exercising hard and not eating much. the only time you will cry on the phone to your mother is when someone had been through your cupboards and you were worried they may have discovered your bible. (because, at all costs, you don't want to be teased like the girl with the odorous feet.) you will grow up fast in the next year.
over the next 5 years you will navigate the journey from childhood to adulthood - mostly alone. i'm really proud of you, and despite a few close-calls, i think you did pretty well
in 7 years from now, you will have your first boyfriend.
in 9 years from now you will be married. married!
in fourteen years from now, you will be a mother. you think you will only have about 3 kids but for the next ten years you will either be pregnant or have a newborn.
in twenty-three years from now you will be wondering how you came to be this old, and be looking into your own daughter's face, not much younger than you are now. you will be wondering what her journey will be and you will be praying for wisdom as you prepare to walk alongside her though those years.
you will also wonder if you should make a mask of her face, too, so she can remember this simple time in her life.