Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My How You've Grown

When I was pregnant with my first child, the whole world seemed to make sense. I made sense. I was...Mommy...and the stars aligned.
So when that baby girl died in my belly, I crumbled... and breathing in and out seemed to have no purpose.

But two years later, on a crisp autumn morning, when May was born, I began to breathe again.

And then when Summer was born, I was in awe that a miracle could happen twice. All ten fingers, all ten toes...again. The babies cooed and giggled at each other, white-haired cherubs, people pointed and stared in the grocery store. "Mommy! Mommy!" they'd say.

And then when Jasmine completed us...Big Eyes, we called her...the waters danced, the earth sang and my heart was at least for a moment.

My days were all about the babies. Bath time, lunch time, beach time, nap time. Let's do numbers...1...2...3. Let's do letters A...B...C.

And then they grew a little more...and then they grew right out the door.

"Mom, I need a ride to dance, to soccer, to school." And I took my place in the parade of SUV's on our neighborhood streets.

When they became teenagers, I thought I would lose them forever. I remember feeling like I was being shoved into May's 13th birthday by some twisted eccentric force.

But I listened to my friends who had gone before...

My friend Mayli said that raising babies is the training for the Olympics of the teen age years. Train well, stay focused, keep your eye on the prize, remember you are on the same team.

And my friend Candy told me that you have to embrace the teen stuff just like you do the baby stuff. Like when you laugh because their poopy diaper is so stinky, you also have to laugh when their poopy teenage-attitude is so stinky.

This advice was really helpful.

And so began the swirl of parties and dances and football games and late nights and near misses. And my heart bounced along praying they'd be safe, making deals with God if he'd just please keep them safe...begging...pleading...bargaining.

I thought it would go on forever.

But no...just 2 more days left.

At least for May.

Dear girl is off to Azusa Pacific University...and Mommy...could not be more proud.

I know she will shine there because May is better than most people. We knew it right away, the way her eyes lit up. The way she'd toddle up to the other children at the park and say. "You wanna be my fwend?" If another child was ever alone, she'd ask, "You wanna play with me?" It's just how she is. Compassionate and generous with a great big giant heart.

And now we have to share her...

I know...I know...she's not going that far...I know we still have two cherubs at home...I know! I know! I know!

But Mommy is still finding it hard to breathe...

Last night as she grabbed the car keys, she asked me what time I wanted her home. "Forever," I told her. "I want you home forever."

My How You've Grown
by Natalie Merchant

My how you've grown
I remember that phrase
From my childhood days too,
"Just wait and see"
I remember those words
and how they chided me
When patient was the hardest thing to be
Because we can't make up
for the time that we've lost
I must let these memories provide
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me
I should have known
At your age, in a string of days, the year is gone
But in that space of time it takes so long
Because we can't make up
For the time that we've lost
I must let these memories provide
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me
Every time we say goodbye
You're frozen in my mind
As the child that you never will be
You never will be again


  1. I'm crying like a dork because when I think of May I still think of her playing with sidewalk chalk and tattling on Summer and watching me put on my make up like it was some magic voo-doo stuff, or grabbing my cigarettes out of my purse and going "why do you have these?!" But I can't really be sad about it since she turned out preeeeeeetttttyyyyyyyyyyy coooooooooolll, and her life, as an adult at least, hasn't even begun. GOOD JOB SISTER! Gold star for making great humans.

    1. Oh Brig...remember her curls and the patch over her eye? I remember your curls too... lets all 3 do lunch in like 2 weeks, K?

  2. Bawled when I read this, I could not finish the song lyrics. What a joy to be able to watch May from afar these past 6 years. xoxo, mandy