Today, my daughter is 17. People told me that the time would fly by. It has.
She was a beautiful, yet colicky baby. The first 3 months were the hardest. On my refrigerator I taped a big calendar. Each morning I would cross off the previous day with a giant ‘X’. As an exhausted new mom, surviving each day was one of my chief objectives but even then I felt a tinge of regret that I wasn’t totally embracing the joy that was now part of my life.
As I remember those days, I can smell that fresh new baby smell. I can feel the soft, gentle, warmth of her tiny little body all swaddled in the perfect bundle that I held in my arms.
This tiny person changed everything. She challenged. She pushed. She made me cry with frustration and worry. She broke me time and time again in those first few months. She taught me about love. She made me a mom and she opened the door for her brother who followed 25 months later. If I could, I’d give birth to them all over again.
I remember watching my toddler daughter at mom’s group. As the other children competed for toys, or food, or a companion, my daughter was an observer. Her face a zen-like mask of concentration, she would wait until just the right moment and move in to gain whatever had been the hotly contested prize just moments before. She still approaches life that way. I am so grateful.
Then, there was the first day of kindergarten. As the other children cried or ran around the classroom, our daughter looked around the room, read the names on all the desks until she found her own. (She learned to read at 4 without any assistance from us.) She sat down, her back straight, her hands clasped on top of the desk. Her face was eager for instructions. My husband ushered me out of the room so I could indulge in a few tears. She was ready. There, in that morass of chaos and tears, my constellation, the center of my universe, sat calm, cool and collected. I was so proud of her. I am so proud of her.
At 17, she is the person I hope to be when I grow up. She is one of the nicest people I have ever known. She is patient and kind. She is naturally positive and accepting. She is a delight, my shopping buddy, my sweet honey bunny.
Guess, how much I love her!
I love her to the moon and back.
Happy Birthday, my sweet constellation. You were and you are the best daughter I could ever have. You bless me with your life and your love. I am forever grateful for the wonderful gift you gave me on your birthday, YOU!