Today I celebrate the tenth birthday of my daughter. She’s ten. A decade. 3,652 days (you know, plus leap years?) old.
Parenthood, well that escalated quickly.
But seriously, when people say “the days are long but the years are fast,” they aren’t fucking kidding.
I still remember her birth with fresh pain, and can still hear my family standing around her high chair and cheering her on as she took first bite of “real” food (now that I think about this, that shit is just wierd. Like, really. “Yay you. You ate mushy food-like products off your tray. Way to slurp it up kid. Try not to develop any major negative food associations as a result, would you please? Therapy is expensive and I’d really rather save my money to send you to study abroad so I can visit you. . . ).
I remember her brave face on her first day of school, the hug I got she graduated from kindergarten and the year I spent twenty hours baking her not one, but two, three-foot tall castle cakes (because cake, that’s why) and she smiled like she’d just been handed a million dollars.
I was just chasing her through the aisles at Target and now I’m helping her choose deodorant.
Some days, I wonder who signed me up for this and others I feel like I won the life lottery. Most of the time, it’s a little bit of both, but most of all, I feel such a profound sense of love and gratitude.
I’m so glad she chose me.
She’s been my greatest teacher and my biggest mirror. I look at her and I see me, I see her ancestors, I see the world, I see both what is real and present, and what’s possible.
Life. I look at her and I see life.
The learning curve has been steep, being a mom. I’ve grown more as a human being from parenting than any other experience I’ve had. It’s messy. It’s funny. It’s (briefly) beautiful. It’s humbling. It’s . . . really fucking hard.
And I’m still grateful. And honored. And joyful.
Now, if I can just manage to not screw it up too much, but just enough to keep it real. I’m aiming for the ideal balance of cray in our life. Roses and thorns, calm with chaos, easy with challenge. I’d like our level of dysfunctional to be something near Goldilocks without the breaking and entering bit. Like, the struggle is real, but also, like, you know, no mass collateral damage.
That’s reasonable right? Mission, Totally Possible.
So here’s to the next ten, baby girl. I can’t wait to grow with you. May the force be with us.
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