I used to have dreams and plans about what it would be like to be mother to a daughter. Perhaps fortunately for me, Sara decided while she was still in the womb that she would stick to her own dreams and plans, thank you very much. The ride was exciting right from the get-go and I just tried to hold on tight enough to keep her close without making her want to permanently break my grip. We've had our ups and downs, but I think I did okay, because what a dream girl she is. In her own way, all the way. I continue to have hopeful visions of her future, but now they center on the sole wish that her life will go exactly the right way for her and no one else. It's such a relief to realize that as an evolving human, I am capable of (painfully slowly, it seems sometimes) growing out of the tendency to compare an actual child to some made-up, constructed child in my head. Some days it comes so easily, to love them as they are. Some days it feels like I'll never figure it out. Thank goodness that 18 is not some arbitrary end to my mothering and that I have a whole eternity to continue to get to know this amazing girl. I love how our relationship is improving and deepening all the time. I appreciate her strength of character and confidence. That last one is so unlike me as to seem alien at times, but that's one of the main reasons God hooked me up with her dad, so my kids could be spared from walking the earth irrationally doubting every step like their mother. What a relief it is for me to see her not so much walk through life as dance, and with such sass and and life-grabbing enthusiasm. Gorgeous.
Here is a quick birthday sketch by way of an interview. It was late, so it was a one-word answer kind of conversation, but it tells the story of now.
Me: How was your day?
Me: What's your favorite part of your life right now?
Me: Where do you see yourself in a year?
Me: What's your favorite memory from your seventeenth year?
Me: Anything else you want to share for posterity?
S: Don't get a cat. (her cat, while beloved, is quite teenagery right now and has been keeping her up at night)
Happy Birthday Sara!