October 4, 2012
Eighteen years ago you came into my life. Has it really been that long? It seems like only yesterday when I first held you in my arms. You were so long, and had an adorable “Buddha” belly, and prehensile toes. You were perfect. I fell in love immediately. I remember when everyone went home, and it was just you and I in the hospital room. I laid you on my tummy and marveled at the size of you, and how just hours before, you were in my womb. I didn’t sleep much that night. I kept touching you, and kissing you. I thought my heart would burst with emotion. From the beginning, you were such a good sleeper and eater. You started off feeding at about every four hours, and by the time I went back to work, you were sleeping through the night (6 weeks).
I remember the first day of Kindergarten, and how excited you were! Honestly, I think it was much harder on me than you. You amazed me at your immediate ability to adapt to any situation, and you are still like that. Change rarely bothered you then. I think that you must have gotten that from your Father and I am thankful because, even at my age, change gives me hives.
For several years, you loved softball, and then you discovered dance. You started off with one class, and it has escalated to six. And while you took a break for about a year, you ultimately came back to it because you missed it. Dance has been such an integral part of your life. I have seen you come home absolutely exhausted, and head straight for the bathtub to soak. Despite that, you had the biggest smile on your face. And now, even though you have graduated high school, you are taking multiple classes again, and teaching the little ones to help offset your tuition fee. And you love it. And I love it when you come home and tell me what all the little kids do. I even love the earworms I end up with after those moments.
You experienced so much in your last year of high school. You were in the Miss Wildcat Pageant and won the title of People’s Choice. I couldn’t have been more proud of you at that moment. When they announced your name, you were so surprised that you burst into tears. The reaction that you had, was the same one I had. It was the same reaction I have every time that you go up on stage, and it doesn’t matter if it is you doing a solo in dance, or singing with your grade school class for the Christmas show. My reaction is always the same. Thankfully, Daddy knows this. He always brings the Kleenex.
I am so proud of the woman you are becoming. It has been such a blessing to watch you grow. I’m excited for what your future holds. You will be starting college this Monday to earn your CNA certification. One step closer to becoming an RN, and perhaps a Midwife. You have always been a natural caregiver. Even when you were little. You LOVE to take care of people. You have always been so nurturing. I remember after my surgery, you would sleep on the couch next to my recliner so that you would be there in case I needed anything. Apparently, according to you, daddy wasn’t up for the job.
All of this is to say that I love you, and I’m so glad that God gave you to me. A can’t WAIT to see what the next 18 years bring. I love you baby girl. Don’t ever forget that.