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.