Every year on this date, I always say the same thing. “X-amount of years ago, I was thiiiis big….” and my hands extend my imaginary belly. Then I go on to tell the story that embarrasses my Dot. I think it’s every mom’s duty to share the story of childbirth with their children. Loudly. In front of their friends.
But this year, I won’t. This year, I will say only that I was once “thiiiis big”. And maybe throughout the day remind her of the pain she kept me in for six and half hours. I won’t say a word about how the day before, during a stress test, my mom who was visiting me at the hospital saw the monitor tape and we joked about the seismic activity, and then I started laughing, hard, which caused the alarms to go off… we figure it was around a 7.4.
There will be no mention about when I went home and had a cup of tea, I didn’t need a tray. I just set it on my belly. And she decided to wake up and make my tea jump like the puddle from Jurassic Park. Or how she kicked her little heel up and I would have to slam the palm of my hand into it about three times before she moved and I could breathe easy again.
Not one word to her about how, in the middle of the night, I was praising God because I slept through my first contraction and woke up only to realize something really bad just happened. And how, when I called the hospital, the conversation went something like this:
Me: I just had a contraction.
Them: How long did it last?
Me: I don’t know.
Them: You don’t know?
Me: I slept through it.
Them: You slept through it?
Them: Did you have another one?
Them: How far apart?
Me: About six minutes.
Them: Then you’re okay. You don’t have to leave for about another hour and a half.
Me: Okay, but my water just broke.
Them: You better leave now.
This is my Daughter’s birthday. And today she is 17. I can’t believe I’ve known her almost two decades.
She’s everything to me. For the past 17+ years, my life has been full of teaching and learning and loving and shouting and fixing and hugging and cooking and crying and laughing and watching and playing and holding and letting go and…. being a mom.
I’m not always the best Mom. But I’m the best Mom for her. God gave her to me. When I didn’t deserve His blessings, when I was at a crossroads and could have walked away from Him. But I didn’t. It was, in fact, being responsible for someone else, that brought me to my senses. It was being responsible for her.
No more was this world just about poor little me. Now I had to worry about Baby.
I have always been a single mom. Her dad and I just didn’t work out. It is what it is. And there’s been plenty of heartache all around that subject. But she and I… we’re doing just fine.
It’s pretty awesome to see her learn, and grow, and mature. It’s pretty sad to think my years as her Mommy are coming to a close.
This beautiful child that I have treasured, that I would die for, that I want to share with (and protect from) the world.
She is my everything.
Happy Birthday, Hannah. I luff ewe muchly.