A relationship between mother and daughter can be so many things. I was lucky to have both a son and a daughter. My daughter was born first. I had so many hopes and dreams and expectations that they couldn’t all fit into one room. We are entering a new stage in our mother-daughter relationship as she prepares to walk down the aisle and start a new life. I’ve done some reflecting of the past 20 yeas, wondering where the time went…
I remember holding you for the very first time, your big bright eyes looking up at me. I had so much love for you, yet scared to death at the same time not knowing what was ahead. After bringing you home I remember crying to my mother. I was scared, worrying if I could do this. She assured me I could. You were such a beautiful baby. I remember your grandma holding you on her shoulder, only a few days old, and you raised your head. She was amazed. “New babies don’t do that,” she said. That was the first sign of your immense strength.
I remember the day after your brother was born when you visited the hospital. Sitting on my bed, not quite sure what to think of this new addition. Somehow you knew, this changed things for us. You no longer had me to yourself. Your time with me would now be forever shared with someone else, and I could see you weren’t too happy about it.
I remember sending you off to Preschool, then Kindergarten, knowing you would be OK. But inside I was sad. You were growing up too fast. You were so very smart. It wasn’t right to want to hold you back – to keep you home with me for a little longer.
Then came grade school and middle school. I saw you struggle with your “middle school awkwardness.” I saw you struggle with other girls, but I assured you that it’s them and not you. I advised you to choose your friends wisely and ignore anyone who isn’t kind.
Then came high school. You blossomed into a beautiful, smart, hard working, independent young lady. Making your own way, doing your own thing. High school graduation came and I honestly didn’t shed a tear. I think it was because I knew you were ready and you would be fine. I knew I didn’t have to worry about you missing home or your family or struggling in any way. You were the strongest 18-year-old I knew!
Now, here we are, entering a time that I think ever mother thinks about at some point. You’ve met a sweet young man that you want to start a new life with, make babies of your own. That thought alone brings tears to my eyes. How did we get here so fast? Where did all those years go? I just want to rewind for a tiny minute. To go back to when you were two and would sit on my lap and read. Or rock you to sleep. One. More. Time. Or be frustrated with your question of “why?” for the ninetieth time.
Soon you’ll be putting on a gorgeous white dress and walking down the aisle toward your future, you’re new life. And on this day, I KNOW I will cry. Because you will be the most beautiful bride the world has known. Because my heart is filled with so much love and pride. Because I will see not just the grown woman you’ve become, but also the baby girl I held in my arms so long ago. Because of my love for you, and your love for him. And because of love. I love Love. Because it’s a new beginning for you filled with love, and frustration, and wonder. And babies. Hopefully lots of babies. And maybe you won’t be scared like I was. After all, you’ve been strong from the beginning. But if you should ever need me, and I hope you do, I’ll still be here. Just like my mom was for me. And you will be for yours. Because it’s what we moms do. We love enough to let go, hoping we did everything right so you soar on your own. All the while still hoping to be needed, One. More. Time.