There is this little girl who has invaded my heart. She is all freckles and missing teeth, a singer, a lover, a tomboy, and definitely her Mommy’s girl. She is at once all mine and at the same time not mine at all. I could spend hours staring at her and will confess, I sometimes do.
But she is an enigma. And I fear, this is just the beginning.
She is this big brain wrapped in this tiny body, morphing its way into full-blown childhood. She does math in her head, crosses her eyes to express joy and silliness, pretends not to like school because some of her friends don’t (though she still tells me about it), and would rather wear soccer shorts and mis-matched socks than a dress any day of the week.
When I stare at her, I’m overwhelmed by her potential. I can actually see the gears at work as she tries to master the world around her. She has lately become obsessed with praise – focusing intently on each ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, cleaning her dishes without prompting and protecting her little brother like she was born to do it. She has a rocket of an arm – can hit and throw (traits she clearly did not inherit from me), can do 4 somersaults in a row underwater (the gills? she DOES get those from me), and simply can’t get enough time with her friends.
Each day I find myself buried under the weight of another wish for her, *May she always have that same light of joy in her eyes, *Can her curiosity always guide her – pulling her deeper, pushing her further, *May she always embrace her fabulous freckles and the joy of her curls as she does now, *Will she know the power of independence – the sweetness of choosing her own path – whether it is singing or soccer, blogging or teaching, dancing or reading, *Please allow her heart an extra layer of protection – she is a sensitive soul, and *PLEASE, PLEASE, may I always be lucky enough to feel her love as I do today.
Seven years and 17 days ago, I nearly died bringing her into the world. Sounds exaggerated, I know, because how many women really die in child birth these days? I actually have an answer for that. In the United States, roughly 13 for every 100,000 children born – 25% or about 4 of those are due to hemorrhage – and that’s what happened to me.
A remarkably easy labor and delivery (I only pushed about 4-5 times) brought my sweet girl into the world, but also made it nearly impossible for my doctor to staunch the bleeding. Over an hour later, with a loss of 40% of my blood, I was first able to hold the little one who first made me a mom. Unfortunately, my troubles for the night weren’t over. The bleeding had stopped in one place, only to start, internally, in another. A husband who listened when I told him something was wrong, emergency surgery, and a remarkable doctor made it possible for me to be here for her today.
And added to my list of wishes? That I continue to have the opportunity to watch her grow, that I am given more chances to stare, and many, many more moments to tally additional dreams for her, my sweet girl.