Tomorrow my first born child will turn 14 years old. I am not usually the overly emotional weepy type, but for some reason the anniversary of my first child’s birth always brings tears to my eyes. For me, there is no day, no moment, more significant in life to measure the passing of time, than the day I first became a mother. It was on that day that I finally looked into the eyes of my own child and on that day that I first held in my arms a tiny vulnerable little person who would depend completely on me to care for her. That was the first day of having to rise to the challenge of daily sacrificing my own wants and needs for that of another. I’m pretty sure, it was not until that day, that I truly started to grow up and mature, though I had already been an adult for several years and married for nearly two.
I think about how utterly unqualified I was for the job of mother and how naïve I was about what it truly meant to be my daughter’s mother. I think about how I held that little baby in my arms not really realizing the enormity of the task before me of raising her to be a good, godly young lady and teaching her about life and the world around us.
I think about her infancy and her toddler years and the day she went off to pre-school. I remember all the mistakes I have made and the moments I have lost my temper and been impatient and then I remember how young we both were- my daughter and I, and how we have learned so much together over the years. She has often been more patient with me than I have been with her and she has forgiven my many mistakes and shortcomings countless times over the years. Perhaps the thing I have done best was to be imperfect, showing my daughter that we can only do our best and rely on God to make something good of us.
At 14, my daughter continues to be a beautiful, sweet young lady with very little teenage angst. It was this past year that, finally, she surpassed me in height. I can still not always believe when I look at her, that in such a short time, the blink of an eye really, that tiny baby I once held in my arms, that once grew within my womb, is now bigger than I am and looking down on me. Parenthood is so surreal and if I hadn’t really been around for every moment of it, I am quite sure I could not really believe it had happened, that my baby girl has grown up so quickly and so beautifully.
As we celebrate the gift of our first born tomorrow, my heart will be filled with both sorrow and joy. Sorrow that the years go way too quickly and joy that I have been given the blessing of not having to miss even a minute of them. Sorrow that I have not been a more perfect mother and joy that I must have done some things right along the way, because my child is truly a blessing to many people. Sorrow that I can no longer hold my little girl in my arms and that she doesn’t need me in the same ways she used to and joy that she is still willing to hug me and hang out with me and turn to me for advice and companionship and that she still recognizes her need for me in many ways.
I have learned that motherhood is often about letting go, and I hate that-
but as each year I must let go a little more…..
I realize anew how privileged I am
to see my beautiful child grow a little more
and blossom a little more
and every year she continues to impress me and remind me
how blessed I am to be her mother.
how blessed I am to be her mother.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/2316123291/">Pink Sherbet Photography</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photo pin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>