My daughter came out yesterday with some of her camping supplies that she is letting me borrow for my upcoming trip to Death Valley. This trip has been part of my year of personal growth, and I wanted to do as such of it independently as I could, but I appreciate her expertize as she has offered to help me shop for hiking boots, and the clothes that I will need for the camping and hiking experience. It is such a luxury to have someone running sizes for you! After we got all my things talked through and organized, we went out to dinner and chatted. My thoughts and the conversation wandered back to her childhood and to watching her grow into the amazing woman she is today.
We had a little rocky start. I was nervous when I was pregnant because I didn’t know what it would be like to have my life changed so radically. I found a strange change in me though, as I became unable to even kill a fly, trying instead to shoo them out of my house. I wondered if it was because I was carrying life inside of me.
The time for her birth arrived, and it was difficult. Those were the days of Lamaze, and no pain medications. Sometimes I ask people how much pain do you think you would have to be in to be screaming and not even realize you were until someone (in this case a nurse) told you to stop it because you were upsetting the other patients? After a long, long exhausting labor there she was. There was not a magical motherhood moment for me. I refused to look at her and told my husband “Don’t you ever ask me to do that again!” Understandably he was upset. They took her to clean, weigh, check and measure her, and I was taken back to my room. Shortly later they brought my daughter to me. They put her on my chest and she curled up in her little baby ball and snuggled down. “She likes me!” I thought, amazed. And I was filled up with a love so strong as I had never felt. I knew I would die for this little stranger if necessary. And I was filled with another feeling too–fear. I thought “What have I done?” because I recognized that I was completely without defenses and if something were to happen to this daughter of mine it would kill me. I felt so vulnerable in my love.
I was keenly aware that this time with her was temporary and passing. Through the months I would hold her and immerse myself in my love for her and her perfect adorable baby self thinking “I will never think that I failed to appreciate the transient gift of this moment because in this moment I am doing everything possible in my power to feel it and to acknowledge it’s perfection.”
And just as much as I treasured those sweet baby moments, I now treasure the moments I am blessed to spend with this incredible miracle of a strong woman that she has grown into.