You introduced yourself to the world with a healthy wail one Wednesday in autumn. Birthing a noisy baby, it’s music. I gasped at all that dark chocolate brown hair framing chubby chipmunk cheeks and a button nose. A perfect candidate for one of those little pink onesies that say ”Adorable” across the chest. And everybody agreed. On our first family vacation, the resort offered us a free t-shirt for advertising purposes just because you’d look so cute in it.
Whether by temperament or birth order you earned the award for “easy baby” with your contented, self-soothing rituals. Quietly you’d lie in your crib on your tummy with your little bottom raised in the air, methodically gyrating up and down until sleep prevailed. And I can still hear the hum of the motor on the baby swing and see your sisters gently working your bouncy seat. My favorite mental snapshots have us together in a rocking chair connecting skin to skin. Toddlerhood revealed new strategies for navigating your world. At the first sign of distress, the right hand pointer went in the mouth while the left one twirled the hair. Then, you learned to pump, and it was swinging that brought solace.
Mobility meant you could tag along with your big sibs in their imaginative adventures. Those Diamond days of circuses, dollyhouse, and dress up the dog also featured dramatic presentations of Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh and American Girls.
Just before there were four candles on your cake, we gave you an early birthday present called Starla Rose. Right after she came home from the hospital, you answered a phone call and spoke authoritatively.
“I have a baby sister.”
“Her first name is Starla. Her middle name is Rose.”
“But we haven’t decided on her last name yet.”
That new role of big sister revealed lovely facets of your personality as a nurturer and defender. It’s one of your many endearing qualities—your staunch loyalty to family.
You savored childhood with intuitive wisdom, understanding that we only get to ride this merry go round once and so you avoided the race horse and you eyed the mysterious terrain of adolescence with wariness. That led to our ultimate adventure overnight at the B & B where we sat in the hot tub stargazing and exploring your most pressing questions about growing up for so long that we also picked up a stray fungal infection in the process. That was a doorway leading to monthly mommy/daughter talk time dates. Most of them in the Starbucks parking lot.
You’re turning 15 now. 14 was a monumental escapade into the unknowns—body, soul and spirit. Chronic illness exposed your mettle and I discovered you are amalgamated with grace and courage and hope.
So, I’m musing about this girl God gifted me with to nurture and love. And, at the risk of sounding cliché, I am counting the ways I adore her.
How about 15 in honor of her self same birthday?
Your hugs are trademark because you never let me go.
Your keen observations about me are typically like arrows hitting the bulls eye.
“I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” are free flowing dialogue between us.
So, it’s your birthday but I’m who gets the gift. And it’s the privilege of being your mom.
Love You Muchly.