I worry about all of them. 

But I worry about her. 

The moment that the fuzzy ultrasound screen showed her and they said “girl” it began. 

The immense joy. The endless worry. 

Will she know how her existence is the answer to a lifetime of midnight prayers. 

A daughter. My daughter. 

The most beautiful music began to play. 

For my daughter. 

Grace Mary. 


A name I picked from the wooden pew of a church when I was 8 years old. 

I told my mom I loved the name Grace after hearing Amazing Grace. And she told me about Grace Kelly the actress, the princess. 

Grace. Gracie girl. The most beautiful name I’ve ever heard. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound. A song written for Jesus about hope in darkness, about light that warms the coldest existence. 

She grew in my belly and was my only child raised out of me. To me. 

She was perfect. A tiny perfect nose with a kiss spot above. Green eyes with flecks of blue, and brown, and sunshine. Heart shaped lips. Dimples carved into her rosy cheeks. She was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen.  Lullaby filled moments of quiet with my sleepy precious girl. 

Always so tiny. And constantly wanting to be close. Always wanting to be right next to me. But also right next to all the action. She started having health issues at 6 months. She wasn’t growing. Constant tests. Specialists. More tests. Diagnosis. She would cry mad angry big tears, and then when the test was over she would smile so big. She trusted us. She knew we would keep her safe. She was the strongest little girl I’d ever met. I would pace floors with her, doctors offices, our dark hallway, or lean into her face as she lay on an examination table, and sing quietly. She loved my songs even when they didn’t make sense. She would listen. 

She started talk babbling at 9 months. Her first word was Mama, she was the only one of my kids to say my name first.  At night she would fit perfectly in the crevice of my arm. 

Always needing to be so close. 

Her first full sentence was “Is it pink?” 

And yet she was constantly covered in dirt, and marker, and peanut butter. She ate crayons with reckless abandon. She’d tackle her brothers wearing a tiara. A boy at a baseball game put a worm down her shirt and she didn’t shriek, instead named it and played with it the rest of the day.  She was the most magical person in the world, a melody of tough glitter falling everywhere she went. 

She was a song bird. Always singing and dancing. Sometimes she was too much for her brothers. Her little body had so much to say, so much personality to give. But they loved her and protected her. And taught her she was worthy of protecting. Taught her that honesty and kindness always wins. And in that example she became a good friend, the best sort of friend. 

And here we are today. 

Gracie Grace. 

Watching her continue to shine bright. 

She loves with her all. She listens, 

she holds things tight, and people tighter. 

She never makes fun of her friends, instead she celebrates their light and the things they do well. There is no one who will celebrate another person better. She makes the littlest things exciting and special. Her joy is contagious. 

She is the most intentional person I’ve ever met. 

She writes music for the people she loves most. She sings and means it. She sings even when she doesn’t realize she’s been singing. 

There is no voice I’d rather listen to. 


Sometimes people say things that sit with you and introduce a new sound…a different soundtrack than the one she’s used to. 

And I worry when she says she keeps hearing “you’re  annoying…” so she stops being herself around certain people. She starts to constantly second guess what she says, how she says things. Doesn’t act silly. She doesn’t want to be a pest. “You’re too much…”so she tries to be less.  She gets her hair lightened, she saves money for shoes like everyone else, she doesn’t text first, she follows all the social rules. 

“Stop singing Grace…I don’t like you…”and even worse things said over FaceTime, over text, 

and her stomach hurts and  she feels dizzy with anxiety. 

And she’s so beautiful it makes my heart hurt, because all these other voices told her she wasn’t good enough as she was…that she was too much.

But then her hair isn’t dark enough, so she goes back to her natural color. 

She wears a baggy shirt so no one says anything about her body. 

The word Friend becomes confusing because friends aren’t mean are they? 

And she second guesses everything she is. 

All she wanted was to be less annoying. To fit. 

To be a good friend. And she wanted the same in return. And it all becomes so loud. 

The words. The voices. The long list of things that people say when they want to hurt you on repeat. Annoying. Too Much.  

And I remember. 

When I was days away from having her,  and her brothers legs swung from wooden stools in a Starbucks- a woman told me lies and said cruel things.

About her.

My Grace. 

She was off key and mean. And as I spoke truth back to her, my hand firmly rested protecting, 

I promised myself I would never ever let anyone threaten the melody of my Grace’s song. 

I would allow her to sing as loud as she wanted. 

Her song was something special. 

And she hadn’t even been born. 

Her whole life I protected her from so much, but the clanging metal of other peoples stuff sometimes seeps through. Negativity and cruelty come across as flat notes, and clashing sounds begin to seep into her world of color and melody.

And I see it. And I see how it hurts. 

How it makes her quiet. 

And she doesn’t want to sing. 

And I can’t make it go away. 

If she were still little, I’d cover her ears.  

But instead we drive late at night and we listen to safe music, and sometimes to the rain outside. And I worry. And I pray. 

I pray that all of the notes that have created the melody of her beautiful heart reach into her and remind her of who she is.

Beloved. Precious.Magical.

And in the in between moments and pauses 

I speak the truth until my throat is sore.   

“Your existence is the answer to a lifetime of midnight prayers. You continue to love better than any person I know. You aren’t, you weren’t, 

and you never will be too much.”

I hug her as she falls asleep next to me.

I sing until my voice cracks. 

Amazing Grace. 

Grace Mary. 

Gracie Girl. 

My Grace. 

You are my favorite song.