Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Timeline for Our Daughter

*Checkered and I were in Niagara Falls when things didn't feel right. One pregnancy test later and I was terrified. But I was also thrilled with the anticipation of who this new person would be.

*Thirty-six weeks later and I arrived at the hospital to announce that things didn't feel right again.

"When was your due date?" the nurse asked.

"Today," I naively answered, and as if we planned it, my water broke all over her upholstered chair. I never did understand why the labor and delivery admitting office wasn't covered entirely in vinyl, but it wasn't my problem at that point.

*Another six or seven hours later, things got serious and I panicked with the realization that actual childbirth stood between me and the exit of the hospital. I was terrified, but couldn't wait to meet this child.

*A LONG six months later, our baby daughter (Junior) finally stopped her colicky crying. YEAH!! While we hope she would become a quieter person we knew that even if she didn't, things were okay because she owned our hearts completely.

*Three years later, I walked that beautiful girl into preschool (but not in this outfit) and we were both terrified. We both survived - she better than I.

*Two years after that, we walked her into kindergarten and I was very brave. This was real school. These were the kids she would know for years. Some of them would be her friends and some would not. Some would make her laugh and some would make her cry. It's just the nature of life and it terrified me. But I was oh so curious about who this school girl would become.

* A quick six years later she instructed us to simply make a quick stop with the car and she would find her own way into middle school. I was chatty and happy and quietly terrified. She was, too.

* And here we are: today I am the mother of a brand spankin' new teenager and I am admittedly terrified. She is growing up quickly and beautifully and I really like the person she is. She is funny and argumentative. She is loving and musical. She is the keeper of our family pictures and the best baby-sitter in town. She is creative and clever. She's good at just about everything she tries. She's just another seventh grade teen-ager, but she's amazingly been entrusted to us and we are filled with gratitude.

And this time next year will find us touring the high school, and guess what? I am terrified, but it will probably be okay because that's just how things go with Junior, our teen-aged daughter.

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