Another birthday, already? How many times have I told you to stop these foolish shenanigans? Do I need to get a lawyer to make you cease and desist from throwing it in my face—the fact that you’re getting older? Think of all the times I begged you to be my little girl again. I don’t think that was too much to ask. Unrealistic, maybe, but miracles have been known to happen.
So yes, I know, this weekend is your birthday. How can I forget, what with all I went through? Nine months of back pain, swollen ankles, heartburn, and elevated blood pressure. I suffered it all, and what do I have to show for it?
A 20-year old who’s off gallivanting somewhere far from home. Ok, so you’re in college. Dean’s List, too. But did I ask you to go 2,000 miles away? Ok, so I did encourage you, but that was in the excitement of the moment when you were first notified that you’d been accepted at your dream school. We hugged and did a joyful dance. And yes, I did say, “Go, send in your acceptance!” But the next thing I knew, there you were, packing your bags and saying, ”So long, Mom” without batting an eye.
Twenty years old. The years have skipped by in a blur. One minute I’m cradling you in my arms and the next, you’re four, dancing in a ballet recital. Then, you’re 8 and going on your first Girl Scout camping trip. You’re 13 and preparing for your Bat Mitzvah. And now here you are, a sophomore in college, leaving me with only one thought:
When it comes to daughters, I couldn’t have done better than you.
So, Birthday Girl, I want to thank you for sparing me the grief other mothers of teenage girls so often go through. For regularly texting to let me know how you’re doing in school. For calling me when your work shift ends late at night, so I can keep you company on your walk back to your dorm. For all the love you’ve given me throughout these years. For enjoying my company as much as I enjoy yours. For being the caring, thoughtful daughter you’ve turned out to be. I know what you mean to me, and what I mean to you.
You left me verklempt recently, when you commented for the first time on this blog. It was regarding a post I wrote titled, If I Could Do it All Again. In it, I said I would have hugged my children more often when they were young, when they still loved hugging back. You responded in a way that left me speechless:
“You got one thing wrong though, Mom…I STILL love hugging you back. In fact, I wish I could fly home right now just to get one of those amazing hugs that only you can give me.”
Well, Spring Break is already on the horizon and I’ll be seeing you soon, ready to hug you once more. Until then, when I think of you, I’ll be remembering the Martina McBride song that poignantly touches on how you make me feel:
“In my daughter’s eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter’s eyes…”
Happy Birthday, B.B.!
- My Girl Turns 14 Today! (tbeidler.wordpress.com)