When each of my girls turned 13 I created a book. This book was filled with photographs from their first moments until as close as I could get to the deadline before their birthday that year.
For this day twelve years ago I made Thirteen Years of Thing 1.
I honestly don’t know what the significance of my daughters becoming teenagers was, but when Thing 1 was closing in on that title, it hit me in a way I didn’t expect. And going through the photographic evidence of her lifetime brought me great comfort when I was so anxious about that anniversary of her birth.
Today is the twenty fifth anniversary of Thing 1’s birthday.
My first daughter has been in our world for a quarter century. I am awestruck!
I was on the phone with her one day last week, we were talking about her birthday. I remarked “quarter century of Thing 1”, that gave her pause. She hadn’t considered it like that. And then she rallied and said, “Sounds like it should be a book year.”
I did not make her a book. Part of me wishes I had, especially since this is her last birthday before becoming a mom.
I’ve called her twice already this morning. Her phone is turned off. Part of me is pleased she’s getting to sleep late, the other part of me wants to hear her voice.
I’m feeling my joy in the back of my throat and bubbling up into my eyes this morning.
Sally commented on a birthday social media post, “If she only knew how special she was to all of us! She’ll always be 3 in hearts!”
She was the first kid in my friend group. The first kid so many people ever loved. And even though we always tease that Sally is really my first daughter, Thing 1 changed the world for all of us.
Twenty five years ago I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Truth is, I still don’t know what I’m doing some of the time.
I don’t think I mommied her the best possible way. I think I mommied her based on the way I was mommied.
But, I learned better over time.
I grew up with her. I learned to be a woman the same time I was learning to be a mom. She paid a bit of the price for that. But she also experienced the maddest kind of love! More fun than she can possibly remember. And somewhere down deep in her I believe she holds the nugget of truth that she is the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had.
I know I failed at being her mom sometimes, but I also know that I far exceeded any mom expectations.
She is who she is because I am her mom.
I am who I am because she is my daughter.
She made me a mom twenty five years ago. In May she’ll make me a grandmother.