A Woman

Eighteen years ago I became a mother.

We became parents.

A beautiful 9 lb 4 oz beauty arrived and turned our world upside down.

This should be the only naked picture of her ever to be seen over the world wide web. She'll kill me I know, but since she never reads my blog, I think I am OK.

Eighteen years ago I walked around the hospital corridors doing my pelvic thrusts in the hallway during contractions to the sounds of my sisters laughing at how I looked like a really friendly cow.

Two things that got me through my DRUG FREE labor were the promise of a piece of oreo cheesecake my sister snagged from work and my husband's jokes--not funny at the time, but quite hilarious now. The best one? After I decided to quit just before pushing, his encouragement was to tell me how silly I would look at the grocery store with a head between my legs. I didn't laugh, but the doctor and nurses did.

Oh wait, this post isn't about me.... really....

Did I say she turned my world upside down? Did you read that as a negative? Our world flipped in the best way possible.

I learned to see the world through a child's eyes. Where imaginary friends Julie and Jordan could earn a seat at the table, and in the car, and on the bus. Where a white bear named Johnny, bald from hugs, would earn a place of honor in the family and would help ease the pain of a younger brother... and another ..... and another.

I would learn from her what it means to be kind, and to put others first. I would learn what it means to see things as black or white -- I have always been a fence sitter, a waffler. I would learn that my goal to raise a girl with mind of her own and strong sense of self would sometimes come back to bite me in the ass. I may have appeared angry at the time, but inside I was secretly proud.

I would learn from her the importance of books in a child's life. I would listen as she and her friends truly mourned the end of the Harry Potter series as the end of their childhood. To them, that came last summer, to me it comes next Friday.

Eighteen years ago I held my sweet daughter for the first time and cried tears of joy. Tonight, I will sneak in her room and look at her peacefuly sleeping, Johnny Bear still keeping watch, and cry tears of joy again.

What an amazing WOMAN she has become. Look out world, here she comes.


MsShad said...

Hi Kathleen. I'm supposed to interview you cause we signed up at Neil's "Citizen of the Month" website in the comments. Remember? I just barely did, only cause I came across another website that talked about it. Anyways, I couldn't find an email for you, so what do we do from here?


Sara said...

Happy birthday, Claire! You make it all sound so wonderful!

I hope next Friday goes well for you. Will you cry? KT kicked us out so abruptly there was no time for tears. And I was remarkably dry-eyed this year, too, despite all the tears in the night.

I'm looking forward to THAT post!

Blogger Julie In Atlanta said...

Aww...great job mom!

Rachel said...

We love Clare too!! You have done a fabulous job of raising a girl with a strong sense of self. Watch out college...she's gonna kick it's ass too! I hope Andrew called to say HB. If he didn't I am going to smack him in the head!

Robert and I were talking about how she's leaving this week and it's freaking us out. I can't imagine how this week is going to be for you.

Bridget said...

I remember the day Claire was born vividly! seeing Rhett come out into the waiting room with tears in his eyes glowing about his baby girl and about you, Kath! How proud he was of you! You are awesome!
:) Bridget

Colleen said...

I will never forget that day either. I cannot believe it has been 18 years. Kath and Rhett you have raised an amazing woman who I am proud to call my niece AND my friend. Love you!!!
(a.k.a Aunt Buddy born 18 years ago as well)

Rachel said...

I nominated you for an award. Come to my blog to see why.

Sara said...

Thank you for this warm, lovely, happy and --so heart-wrenching-- post. I am sobbing like a baby.

I love your whole family -- and you are a whole no matter where each of you is located...SS