Eighteen years ago today I was in labor with my first. Today, I'm pregnant with my fifth. A nice bookend to my childbearing years. :)
My first baby was a surprise. She was meant to be, and although the birth itself was less than ideal in my memory, I do remember looking at her and thinking how incredible and perfect she was. I'd never been so connected to another human being before as I was the moment she was put into my arms. All my hopes and dreams for this little girl - and we were so thrilled she was a girl! - were brought to fruition in that moment.
It wasn't long before we knew her laughter and her sweetness, and heard the bright, beautiful resonance of her voice. I couldn't imagine my life without her, and she's brought a great deal of joy and insight and contemplation and self-reflection to me in my life. She's always been her own person, done her own thing, from the time she was little, and I appreciate her independence and her strength.
I was a very young mother with her, and we made lots of mistakes along the way in raising her, I'm sure. Only hindsight is 20/20, and all we can do, as parents, is apologize for our human failures and look to the future. And there's no telling what the future can hold.
Today my first daugher is a bright, beautiful eighteen year old woman.
Happy Birthday, Autumn.