My firstborn child has a birthday tomorrow, which marks one more year that I've loved her dearly and been fascinated by her creativity.
I was newly married and 18 years old when I first found out I was pregnant, and I thought taking care of a baby would be a snap. After all, I was 15 when my brother was born, so I’d had some experience caring for him, plus I had babysat throughout my teens. But when my daughter arrived six weeks early, she was so tiny that I was scared to death of her. I cried all the way through her first bath and was so grateful that my own mother was there to hold my hand and boost my confidence.
Through her whole life, this child has had to be my “experiment.” It seems it’s always a struggle for parents to decide what their children should be allowed to do and when, and we practice on our firstborns. If we’re too nervous and anxious, we stifle them, and if we’re too laid back or permissive, they pay for it in bruises or bad experiences. And this "baby bird" wanted so badly to fly--each time higher and farther--that she really kept us on our toes. What to do, what to do?
Somehow, in spite of all the mistakes we may have made, she’s turned out just fine! She's a beautiful, capable woman, and I feel honored that she still needs her mom every now and then. The neat thing is that I don't feel so much pressure when she needs me now. I know that she knows that I’m still just giving it my best shot, and she knows that I know she could handle it on her own.
Happy birthday, dream seeker! I love you.