As I look at my beautiful, accomplished, loving daughter my heart overflows with gratitude. I’m grateful she chose me as her mother, I’m grateful for the adventures we’ve shared, and I’m forever grateful to be close and watch her as she continually grows and evolves.
We had a rocky start. I had issues with my pregnancy almost from the start. I developed severe pre-eclampsia and was admitted to an unfamiliar hospital an hour and a half away from home and was tended to by doctors I’d never met. My condition was critical and we both almost died. After six nerve racking days, my little Stephanie was born by emergency cesarean section. She weighed only two pounds and was 12 weeks early. My little preemie had an uphill battle to survive. She did more than that. She thrived.
That was my first indication of her spirit. She’s smart. She’s a fighter and a survivor.
Life has given her many challenges that people twice her age have never faced. She’s faced each hurdle, and come through stronger than before.
In the last few years, I’ve noticed something else. She’s becoming softer.
She married a wonderful man and through her marriage, I’ve seen her blossom into a loving wife, attentive hostess and thoughtful friend. All the while, she’s remained my beautiful baby girl.
As in any family relationship, it’s not all giggles and girl talk. Sometimes we “butt heads.” We’re both passionate in our beliefs and interests (although some family members interpret our passion as stubbornness). No matter. Regardless of the issue we’re working through, the underlying love is always there for me.
She’s taught me so much. I first understood unconditional love from holding her as a tiny baby in my arms. I marveled at her determination and spirit as she went through school and college. I admire her dedication to her family and her work as I now see her navigate the world as an adult. I’m looking forward to the day I see her as a new mother. I know she’ll be much better than I was. She’ll be awesome.
The next 30 years will be quite an adventure for our entire family. One thing’s for sure. I know it’ll be a great ride for my baby girl and me.