October 7, 2011

On Her 13th Birthday

When they placed her on my chest, I couldn't hold her. Anesthesia numbed my limbs and my brain. Somewhere in the fog, my Dad cared for me while my husband cared for his new girl. I still remember the tears that brightened his eyes.  The smile that showed his joy, masking his uncertainty. The weight of this new responsibility heavy upon his shoulders.

He held her first. 

Unlike most babies, she said "Mama" first. But she's still a Daddy's girl. Thirteen years later, that bond they forged there in the hospital nursery is stronger than ever. He still gets teary-eyed over her. The smile is still full of joy and uncertainty. The weight of raising a teenage girl in these times, heavy.

He's never let go.


Before she was born, I thought I knew much about being a parent. Today, as I think over the first thirteen years of her life, I realize I only know two things for certain.

The days are long, but the years are short. Thirteen years have passed by in a blur. I had no idea life would move so fast.

Time is growing shorter. Soon, she'll be leaving our home. I must use the time we have left wisely. I am so incredibly thankful that God can - and will - work in her life to make up for my insufficiency. (I'm learning much from this book.)


These thirteen years of being her mother have brought depths of joy and pain I cannot describe. They have humbled me in ways I could not have imagined.  They have changed my life.

I thank God for each and every day He's allowed me to be her mother. I pray He'll allow many more.


Persis said...

Beautiful post, Melissa.

jenmom said...

I love this post! My Cecily is turning 14 this December. You are certainly right, "The days are long, but the years are short."
Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

Carrie said...

=D Beautiful.

Happy Birthday to your baby girl!

(My oldest is turning 5 this month and I keep telling Jonathan, "We're already almost HALF WAY DONE raising him!!!!! Half of our fun time is OVER!!!!" It's mentally shocking how fast it goes. But I like how you mention that the days are long. It's just the years are short. That I know.)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to your daughter! Lovely post :)

Becky said...

Beautiful! The joy of motherhood!

What a blessing for you to have been there for her all these 13 years!

Lisa Spence said...

Happy birthday to your girl!! May you both enjoy a day of celebration of life and motherhood and girlhood and teenager hood and the sweet grace of the Giver of all good things!!!