Valentines’ Day of the year 2000
That’s the day I first became a mother.
My very own Snow White was born, with porcelain skin, a head full of dark hair and perfect little red rose lips.
Hard to believe she’s 12 now. Trust me when I say, I blinked and a decade flew by….
I remember everything about the day she was born.
I remember thinking that I wasn’t ready yet.
I remember the doctor telling me that it was happening, whether it was three weeks early or not.
I remember the car ride from the doctor to the hospital.
I remember calling Brian’s office from the car.
I remember his co-worker answering – and then dropping the phone and yelling for Brian as he ran across the shop looking for him upon hearing me say “I need Brian – It’s time!”
I remember being in the hospital and hoping that all the grandparents would make it in time to catch a glimpse of their first grandbaby as soon as she was born.
I remember thinking that it was all happening so fast that it was surreal.
I remember not being scared.
I remember seeing Brian’s excited eyes above the mask he had to wear in the delivery room as they began the surgery.
I remember waiting and waiting and waiting for that first cry.
I remember feeling such relief upon hearing it.
I remember crying when I heard that we had a daughter – and that she was perfect.
I remember telling Brian to leave me and go with the baby – nothing else mattered now but her.
I remember the feeling I had when they first placed her in my arms - and it is indescribable.
I remember looking at the tears in my parent’s eyes and – for the first time – understanding.
I remember thinking that everything had now changed forever, in a good way.
I remember thinking “Why didn’t anyone tell me how fast and how much I would love this child?”
The years that have gone by since that beautiful day have brought us some amazing memories of our Olivia Leigh, but those few hours before and after her birth are ingrained in my mind with such detail and clarity that they could have happened yesterday. I suspect that will be the case for the rest of my life and that the births of my daughters will be the last memories I relive before I die.
As the years go by, she becomes more independent and chafes at the parental bonds I tenuously still hold. We bicker, we yell, we say things we regret…she is, in many respects, a smaller version of me.
She hates to hear that.
And I understand.
I’m sure we have some very difficult years ahead of us as we march into the teenage years.
But all I have to do is think back to February 14, 2000, and all the frustration and anger fades and all I want to do is grab her and hold her and hug her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her.
Happy Birthday my beautiful baby girl.