Saturday, July 26, 2008

Birthday Girl

My lovely young lady is a teenager. Thirteen. It seems only a couple years ago that I was a new momma, terrified and smitten all at once. She's so grown-up and still such a child, all at once, just like most thirteen-year-olds. Yesterday I was bitten by the nostalgia bug, and the poor girl had to listen to stories of me holding her when she was brand-new, the story of her daddy falling head over heels the first time he held her hand, the story of the cradle in which she slept, the story about how she tickled my side with her tiny hand every time she nursed. "Moooo-ooom," she groaned, but I could tell she was secretly a little pleased. It helps to remember our big girls as little babies sometimes, knowing that precious tiny being is still cradled in all the layers of years. It reminds me to treasure who she is in her heart and mine as we navigate the stormy waters of adolescence.

Look at that smile.

She wanted to decorate her own cake, with the help of a friend. Her little brothers made birthday cards out of construction paper, decorated with stickers and crayon drawings. Then we sang and she tried to blow out her candles. She even graciously let her annoying little brother help.

One year ago today my baby was one day old, and we were still in the hospital. As I said above, I was terrifed and smitten all at once. Not sure what to do with this tiny little person. Wondering what the future held for us. She had difficulty nursing, and I was patiently trying and trying to get her latched on. The nurse came in and watched for a minute and I was finally successful. "You're going to be such a good mommy," she said. I cry when I remember her words. I still remember the nurse's name, Christine. I wish I could go back in time to tell Christine that her moment of kindness gave me a lifetime of courage, and I have needed every ounce of it.

A moment of kindness, of reaching out does not cost much. We can be angels on this earth for those around us, and we may never know the impact of courage offered, kindness spoken, love given to another.

Peace to you and yours.

1 comment:

Julie R said...

Oh Cat, Happy Birthday to sweet Hannah...she is a beautifuly, lovely young lady!!!! And Christine was very, VERY right. It was almost as if she had a crystal ball. You are amazing!!!!