At this exact moment, my oldest child is 15 years old. It’s hard to believe that for a full day before she was born I had contractions that I thought would tear me in half, paced the floor and prayed for the pain to stop. At 8:53am, when B. came into the world weighing 7 pounds and 6 ounces and was 20 inches long, I almost forgot about the pain (as cliche as that is) and couldn’t wait to hold her. I’ll never forget seeing her for the first time with her wrinkled little face and pink hospital hat on. She was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen with her dark eyes and tiny fingernails.

We stayed in the hospital for 5 days after she was born. B. and I had a high white blood cell count and she had to have antibiotics through an IV in her hand. I remember crying because I didn’t think I’d be able to nurse her, worrying that I’d hurt her when changing her clothes because she was so tiny, worrying that I’d not know what to do or what to teach her as she grew up.

Now she’s 5′ 8″ and is a beautiful young woman. She’ll be taking driver’s ed. this year and is thinking about which college she wants to attend after high school. She is smart, independent, has a strong sense of who she is and walks to the beat of her own drummer. I’m so glad she’s not one to follow the crowd and that she’s willing to stand up for what she believes in.

I guess we’ve learned together how to do this mom/daughter thing. We’ve even weathered that stage where she thought Oprah was a better mom to her than I could ever be because I made her do horrible things like take showers and clean up her room. I’m so thankful to be part of her life. She is truly a blessing and brings such joy to my days. I’m so proud of her and look forward to seeing who she will grow up to be.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! I love you.

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