Happy Birthday, to my 10 Year Old

It was a perfect picture delivery.  Labor was not unbearable, thanks, in part, to an epidural.  But, even with that, I needed so little medicine, the anesthesiologist wondered why he even bothered.  I couldn’t wait to give birth to you.  Not because I was sick of being pregnant and not because my belly was impossibly huge.  I simply couldn’t wait to meet you and welcome you into the fold of life.  There was no anxiousness, no nervousness. I was in the flow of each contraction, a space laced with adrenalin and so Zen.  Each push brought me closer to you, as if that was possible considering you’d been living inside me the past 9 months.

And then, there you were, this sweet little girl. You lay there on me, our eyes locked and I was gone.  For the second time, I fell in love.  I had had the same moment with your sister just 3 years prior.  And I’ve been a goner ever since. 

Sharing your childhood these past 10 years has been my honor.  Everyday brings a new adventure - some seasoned with giggles and some with tears.  Who knew one year after you were born cancer would trespass into our lives. My strong conviction to name you Faith all of a sudden made sense.  I had attributed it to being an irrational pregnant woman.  Little did I know we would draw strength from your name time and time again.  Who knew you would watch your dad’s star fade and fall into grief's crevasse all before you reached kindergarten.

Age to age, phase to phase, your spirit and poise is unswerving;  your vim and vigor contagious;  your heart my reminder that love has no fences. Here we are, 10 years later, and your baby blues still undo me. 

The baby steps you took to learn to walk were my signal that it was time to let you wander from the comfort of my hip and explore your world.  Today is your 10th birthday and now you take your baby steps into adulthood.  Another signal that it’s time for me to move off to the side a little more and give you room to grow.  Parenthood is all about letting go. 

“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”   (Author unknown)

Just do your ol’ mom one favor:  before you go out to slay the dragons of the world make sure you have a good breakfast first.

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