My oldest daughter was born when I was 22 years old. Unexpected. Yet, really, all babies are unexpected. Even when people are “trying” to have children, our bodies work on their own schedules. We don’t always have the control that we like to think we do over these things. I can truthfully say that my other two daughters (one born when I was 31 and one born when I was 36) were also unexpected.
I never saw myself as a mother. It was not a something that figured into my plan as a child growing up and thinking about my life and what it would look like. I imagined a very “alone” life. I don’t ever remember a time where I WANTED to be a mother.
Yet at 22 years old I became a mother to a little soul born 6 weeks too early physically, but not a moment too soon.
For as unprepared as I was mentally and emotionally…I needed her more than I would ever know.
She will graduate from high school this week and begin a phase in her life that is probably one of the biggest roller coasters we ride as we age. It’s full of turbulence and uncertainty. It’s also a time of amazing opportunity, and fulfillment and pure living. None of us are ever “ready” for anything in life. To say we are is just to placate ourselves into believing we have some control. We don’t. And that’s the most beautiful thing about life.
And as she’s preparing to move forward…so am I. As I held her for the first time 18 years ago, the words I uttered alone to her are the same words I’m saying to myself over these last few weeks.
Now what do I do with you?
You’re a young woman…strong. Clear headed. So much softer than I am to the world. Able to see clearly so many of the things I can’t because I think too much.
You have a plan and it’s coming together wonderfully. The details still will need to be worked out as with all plans…but you’re firm in your desire and that’s really all you need.
There’s no fear with you. You’re meeting the prospects of leaving home with excitement and eager anticipation of the great things that are coming. You are so independent and I am so unbelievably grateful for that.
You are a good person. You make mistakes and you come back around again to meet them. You are loving and kind. And so very intuitive. Your teachers have always remarked on your sense of compassion. This is a gift.
Your presence in my life has changed me. You came from me physically but your soul is far greater than anything I could take credit for. I became the person I am because of you. I dedicated everything to becoming the mother I always had wanted for myself. I became a nurse to have the ability to express my own talents and gifts and to give you a foundation for the importance of education and stability. I nourished my creativity and invested in my own personal development to be as solid as I could be for you.
You were my first example of unconditional love.
I finally was able to see my value in the world after creating you. I look at you and see the beauty in life.
So now what do I do with you moving ahead into all of our days to come?
Exactly what you did for me.