Twenty years ago today you changed my standing from person to parent and life has never been the same. You amaze me, still. How did I ever get chosen to be your mom?
I used to hold your tiny hands while you nursed. Your fingers lacing their way through mine. You would make those precious, contented, nursing noises. I can still hear them. You, of course, sat up, crawled, stood up, toddled and talked all with just-right timing. And I held your fingers tightly as you walked beside me across the street or down the grocery aisle, sometimes terrified that you'd slip away in the crowd. I can still feel your tiny fingers wrapped around mine.
You've always been the first to smile, giggle, and laugh out loud when you found something funny. I still think the best way to spend an evening is for all of us to watch you, while you watch America's Funniest Videos, and laugh until you can't breathe. You remind me of Bert and Uncle Albert in 'Mary Poppins.'
Since you were very small music has always followed you. You used to dance and twirl with that twinkle in your eye -- you were cute and you worked it! Now I hear at least
once ten times a day "Mommy, I LOVE this song -- you've just got to hear it."
Today you stand before me, a woman. Twenty, and full of life, potential and such joy that sometimes it blinds me. Music is your passion and I am so proud, watching you explore the guitar, the piano, and your own beautiful voice. Music Theory is a language I don't even begin to comprehend, but when you share your excitement over a circle of fifths, or a triple-resolved-something-or-other-thing -- I love the way your voice tinkles merrily like a brook, the way your eyes sparkle like stars, and your smile lights up your face.
I know now that I had no clue that bright morning twenty years ago today what being your mother would entail. The joy is indescribable. The gifts you've given me are innumerable. The heartache has been acute. But the happiness you've brought me far outweighs any moment when I felt this was a too-difficult job to bear.
You've been leaving me for several months now. The line "If you feel like leaving, you know you can go. Why don't you stay until tomorrow?" keeps echoing in my heart. I count the moments, the hours with you as precious. Writing them on my memory, and on my heart.
I know that soon you will sleep under another roof, and your life will take you far from me. But I know there will be days when the phone will ring and your voice will echo across the miles. You'll laugh, and I'll hear you smile. So, keep leaving, my dear one, making your way into the future. You have my blessing. I believe in you, and in your gifts to the world.
My beautiful princess. There are no words to spill across this page and empty my heart of its feeling for you. I shake my head in wonder and whisper a prayer of thanks. I pray that when you think of your childhood, now spent - holding my hand, sitting in my lap, laughing, crying and singing your way along -- you'll remember my love and smile.
As your fingers slip through mine, though don't forget your way back to me.
Just in case.
Happy birthday Sarah!