My baby girl is a teenager.
It started innocently enough, some 13 years and 9 months ago. Well, you know how it starts. And ends up a bit like this:
With her Daddy's skin and her mama's eyes, she came in like a lamb, even without an epidural. She was this wonderful science experiment where everything seemed to turn out far, far better than I'd could have ever hoped. I think it's because for a woman who'd never planned on having kids, I had no preconceived notions as to what being a mother would be like. I never spent any time day dreaming of what I would name a baby, or how the nursery would look, or how many strolls to the park I would take. Maternal instinct wasn't part of my wiring.
Then I turned 29 and the urge to procreate became THE dominating urge, rising up above all my other mostly dominating urges (namely, the urges to smoke and NOT procreate). And so, Project Baby began.
We were lucky. Within 3 months, I was pregnant. Next thing you know, I'm a mama.
And that was 13 years ago.
I've never professed to be the best mother in the world, though if it turns out that way in the end, I come by it honestly. One needs only to look at the example I was raised with. Still, I have my strengths. I think it can be proven by the fact that my girl is listening to The Cure.
I'd planned out this post yesterday. It was going to be a recap of her Friday night party and how much fun it was to see all of her amazing friends, and how wholesome it all was, with all the pizzas and pop and costumes and ghost stories and innocence, and how it almost felt like we were Mormon for the night.
And then I wanted to write about how I messed up her actual birthday by taking her out to run some errands on Saturday, completely forgetting that her unwrapped present was in the back seat. This, despite me telling Dan repeatedly: stay away from the garage, for the love of God! Aidan's gift is in my car! As she opened the door and her head cocked suspiciously sideways, I heard myself say, ""Please tell me you don't see that guitar case in the back seat."
I was also going to write about going out shopping with her yesterday so she could spend some of her birthday money on new clothes, and how I adore the fact that she's inherited Dan's love of vintage and second hand clothes, and how she more or less shuns anything name brand in the name of invention and creativity. And how grateful she was for everything she'd gotten.
But as I sat down to write this morning, the sentimental me crept in. The one who realizes that despite all of my potential shortcomings as a parent and a person, my kid, who is no longer a kid, is turning out to be an amazing human in her own right. One full of hope and grace and ideas and self-respect. All I did was provide the vehicle to get her here.
For all the stuff that might come at us in this new teen-aged era, I think in the end, we're going to be just fine. I'm so thankful that the biological clock hit me when it did. And today, the gratitude overwhelms me.
I love you, baby girl.