Many years ago, I gave up on the notion that I would have a daughter. I had a son, whom I cherished, and two stepsons, and it was enough, almost. I yearned for a daughter though; deep inside I wanted a daughter with a wishing and a wanting that never quite went away. Yet, over time I gave it up, mostly. As I passed my 36th birthday, I discussed with my doctor taking care of my reproductive ability, as I felt too old to bring another child into this world, anyway. Instigating that conversation, I seriously gave up the daughter dream.
Then, a funny thing happened one morning. I ended up calling and cancelling the procedure, as my spring break plans had changed and I was going to be doing something else. I met David, and amazingly, a year later I was married again, to a man who really wanted to be a Daddy. Even more amazingly, I discovered I was pregnant! I was going to have a baby at the age of 38! Was I crazy? I was ecstatic.
That baby girl was born 22 years ago today. And while there have been times when she was chagrined to have such ancient parents, I’ve rarely felt that I was too old to be her mom.
As I remember that incredible day of her birth, I remember the indescribable joy I felt when I first held the precious miracle of my daughter. She changed me. I’m not the same person as I was before her birth. Having a daughter softened me, drenched me in the age-old mother/daughter alliance that I had been missing for 30 years since my own mom’s death.
When Jess was less than a week old, I remember sitting on the bed, cradling her in my arms and sobbing as I prayed for her to be able to keep her mom. I had already been journaling her entrance into this world; from the moment I knew she was coming. I prayed to be the best mother I could be for her, to love her and teach her and guide her and to be here for her. Losing my mom at age nine was the ultimate abandonment, and I prayed hard that she would not experience that loss.
I’m sure I was praying for me, too. That I would have the opportunity to mother my children into old age, as I intuitively know my own mom would have wished and prayed for, and perhaps did, before she suddenly was no more.
Through mothering my daughters, (Kailyn was miracle number two!) I have reveled in doing all the things I wished I had done with my mom. I dressed them in clothing I created just for them, showered them with tea parties, and hand sewn doll wardrobes, with matching dresses. I read to them daily, sometimes for hours at a time. I gave them everything I had in my power to give them, including my absolute belief in God, and the opportunity to learn of His goodness, mercy and love. I prayed with them and for them, without ceasing.
Today Jessica is 22, and she is a remarkable person. Her personal faith is strong. Her work ethic is rock solid. She is my pride and joy. She is everything I hoped for her to be, and more. I sit here this morning, blessed beyond my wildest expectations by the miracle of her life. God answered my prayers as he usually does, giving me more than I dreamed.
Last Thursday, Jess arrived home about 7 PM. We immediately drove off to Fabric Depot, so she could choose a pattern and fabric for the dress I would make her for her birthday. Then, Friday, Jess and I spent in my sewing room. As I sewed, she brought down my journals from the shelf, one at a time, and began to read. I felt a tad bit of fear and trepidation, as no one (including me) had read them since they were written, and I wasn’t sure how my writing would be taken, as I’m a pretty honest writer. She read aloud at times, and we laughed, and sometimes I cried a bit, remembering again some difficulty I’d forgotten. But, I treasured that day, and the miracle of sharing her life with Jess, through my stories from years past.
Miracles! I thank God for miracles. I thank God for you, Jessica. I miss that I’m not with you (for the fourth year in a row) on your special day, but I’m sending you a Happy Birthday hug!