Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Thoughts

When they handed my newborn daughter to me, I was probably the least experienced mom in the whole hospital.

I was the youngest in my family. I had no related kids nearby to pseudo-parent. There were no little kids in our neighborhood, really. My one foray into babysitting--in college--resulted in 3 hours of tears, screams, and hurled toys, and me bolting for the door the minute the parents arrived home. No, thanks. I wasn't even sure I wanted kids--I was awkward around them, I didn't know how to hold them, I had no idea how to change a diaper. I was hopeless.

But there she was. In my arms, tiny, beautiful, heartbreakingly fragile. And my responsibility.

I was pretty sure the hospital people would figure out the horrible truth that I'd never be able to swing it, that I'd completely mess up this perfect little person if they let me take her home. I was half-expecting a conference with the nurses and doctors: "We're sorry. We'll have to take her back and give her to a real Mom."

But they didn't (thank God), and that was 7 years ago today. And you know what? We've kind of figured it out. Hell yeah, I've made mistakes, lost my temper when I shouldn't have, made poor choices about clothes or leniency or what to buy. But she's still there, my big girl. And she's a sweet, smart, funny, good kid, who I love to be around.

Happy Birthday, little one who is not-so-little anymore. I love you more than I thought possible to love anyone. I'm so grateful to have you in my life.


Tiffany Schmidt said...

She's lucky to have you! Someday she'll see this post as the greatest birthday gift you could have given her - but at 7, she'd probably prefer a puppy or the latest insert-Disney-show-of-choice figurine. Thanks for reminding me of the things that matter most - I've got to go call my mom now *sniff*

Julie said...

Happy birthday to your darling daughter!! Hope you all had a great day!

Gary Corby said...

My daughters are singing:

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Child,
Happy Birthday to you!

Janet Reid said...

I'm so glad your kidlet is surrounded by people who love her.

Since she loves the Fancy Nancy books she's clearly got great taste already!

Kathy said...

I forgot our girls's birthdays were so close together. Happy birthday to yours!

Travis Erwin said...

Wish her a happy birthday for me as well.

courtney said...

Ooh, this made me well up! It's a beautiful post, Susan. I know she's got a great Mom (you're awesome!), and I know you've got a great daughter (she diagrams sentences, for Pete's sake! I was never that cool at 7, sigh--also, awesome is in her gene pool!). What a wonderful tribute this is. Happy birthday to her. :)

Linder said...

Awww. You kinda made me tear up. I can't believe it's been seven years, either. Whoosh! Happy Birthday to her (again {g}).

Emily said...

Happy birthday to the wee one!! (Who isn't so wee - 7 is definitely littlegirldom. :) Time to brave Beauty and the Beastie!

Susan Adrian said...

Aw, you guys are AWESOME. Thanks everyone!! She had a fabulous birthday, packed with cupcakes, people singing to her, a new PINK dress, presents, and fun. Yay.

And (whew). :)