Yesterday, we celebrated my daughter's ninth birthday.
I swear, I don't know where the time goes. It seems like it could not have been that it was nearly a decade ago that I found out I was pregnant. I can't believe I've been a parent for nine whole years. It hardly seems possible, when I can close my eyes and remember so clearly the way her smooth cheek felt against mine as I held her close and rocked her to sleep. All those milestones rush by--first smile, first words, first steps... first day of school, first report card, first dance recital.... soon we'll be into the perilous world of middle school, and it will be all I can do not to have a complete and total nervous breakdown, as I KNOW what happens in middle school.
Sometimes I don't feel like I'm even a grown-up yet. But then, I think about the fact that I have a nine-year-old-- a smart, healthy, generally well-mannered nine-year-old daughter... and I guess that I must have grown up myself somewhere along the way.
Out of all the women out there who could have probably done it better, God blessed me by picking me to be her mom.
I'm not the super organized soccer mom who's the queen of scheduling.
I'm not the all-organic health food nut who makes sure there's no sugar in the house or in her kid's diet.
But I am a mom whose imperfect love is all my child needs, by the grace of God.
What our children need more than stuff, is us.
So yesterday, the day after her birthday party, and the very first day of summer break, we had a mommy/daughter day. We went to Bethany Beach in the midst of summer tourist season, because that was where my daughter wanted to go (and even though I've been boycotting them in the summer season due to a ridiculously unfair parking ticket two seasons ago, I agreed, because it was what my daughter wanted).
We ate D.B. Fries. I lounged on the beach while she frolicked in the ocean. We had smoothies from TCBY. It was an ordinary day, but a beautiful one.
When we got home to pick up Daddy to go out to a family dinner, she commented, "This is the best day of my life."
Not the day before, fun as it was, spent at a horse stable and lavished with gifts from us and her friends.
Just the simple gift of being together and doing what she wanted to do. That was enough.
Thank you, Kaliah, for being my daughter. You always remind me what the best things in life are. If I never did anything else again in this world, I still would leave it happy, knowing that I brought you into it.
Happy Birthday, my love.