Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Daughter!

Yesterday my oldest child turned 27.   How did the time fly by so fast?  Wasn't it just yesterday I was fretting over wearing elastic waist maternity jeans?  Today I share some memories of my oldest as I celebrate the woman she has become. 

March 1984....You weren't due until; April but you came early.  (I should have figured then patience was not your strong suit!)  We headed to the hospital.  Your dad decided  we should stop and put gas in the car on the way to the hospital.  (The hospital was a block away, I figured we could probably make it there even on fumes- but your dad insisted.....I began envisioning how  to give birth in a blue VW Bug.....luckily we made it to the hospital!)  You were born a little later, and were perfect!!!  I could not believe I was a mother.  I forgot to turn off the iron.  I left the keys in the car.  How could I ever raise a child?   I was terrified, but you made every minute worth the fear in my soul.  We started to figure it out! 

Spring 1986.... I was pregnant again with your little brother. You were sassy, strong-willed funny and smart.  We headed to K-Mart (because there were no other stores to choose from in our little town) and you were looking for toys.  I have been reading parenting books.  I am confidant in my parenting skills.  Then the dreaded K-Mart incident happened.   I squat down to look at you in the eye, so we have perfect eye contact and I am not talking "down" to you (yea, I read that in a book...)
"Sweetie, three more minutes looking at toys and then we need to go home.  Remember, we are not buying a toy, just looking today!" I say in my calm, perfectly capable parent voice.
"I want a toy!" You say to me. 
"No toy today." I say, firmly but kindly. 
Then what happened next will forever be etched in my mind.  You slugged me.   Not just a little sissy girl punch, you laid me out.  I didn't see the left hook coming.  I tried to lean back but didn't get out of the way.  You caught me right on the nose.  I fell backwards.  You looked at me defiantly and  said, "I want a toy!......please?"  I can hardly see you, as my eyes are watering.  I reach up to my nose and catch the blood on my hand.  My kid just cold-cocked me in the face and bloodied my nose.  I grabbed you and headed out to the car.  You sensed the gravity of the situation and didn't say a word.  I buckled you into the car seat and headed home in silence. 
I am driving home thinking of the kid in the car seat at age16.  Stealing cars, knocking off 7-11's, selling grandma's meds, prison.... What's next?? 
We head to the house and I am a mixture between fuming, confused and scared.  You put your arms around me, look me in the eyes and say "Sorry Mommy" and hug me tight.  Suddenly all my fears go away.  You are not going to jail- you are not Bonnie looking for Clyde.  You are a tough, independent woman who is not going to take any crap from anyone.  You will be just fine.  I do make a mental note to take away the punching bag in your room. 

The memories flood my mind this weekend as we celebrate your birthday.  Soccer games, basketball games, Disneyland, middle school kids in my backyard, the gaggle of your friends, the "camping" incident, the "door" incident (We will save those for another time!) A wonderful husband, and your own turn with your three wonderful children.   How lucky am I to be your mom?  I must have done something right somewhere to  be so blessed to have you in my life. 

The circle of life is a funny thing.  One day we are the kid playing on the tramp, then it's your own child jumping on the tramp, then a grandchild.  I don't feel any older, but the time marches on.  Hopefully we take some time to remember the little funny memories that make life so sweet.  Stop today to remember the wonderful people in your life.  While I won't take credit for the awesome person my daughter has become, but I do know I have made an impact on her life... good and bad...but isn't that what this life is all about? Making a random woman at a time!