My first words after Meghan Jane was born were, “Is she okay?”
She came into the world quietly and I was expecting to immediately hear crying. I knew a healthy baby wasn’t the inevitable conclusion to giving birth, so fear gripped me when it was quiet upon her arrival.
Moments later, when she was placed on my chest, I saw her tiny hand reflexively grasp my hospital gown and soon after I heard her newborn cries and I knew she was okay.
Today, she turns twelve, and I find myself thinking, “Is she okay?” all the time.
That fear I felt when she was born is still there. I’ve learned it doesn’t dissipate as our children grow from one stage to the next.
I wish it was a simple as her giving me those signs she gave me when she was born. Grasping my gown and crying, letting me know, “Mom, I’m okay.”
12 is not about clear signals.
12 is crying and she can’t tell me why.
12 is needing friends more than mom.
12 is being caught between a girl and a woman and trying to figure out what all of it means.
12 is an emotional hurricane that nobody can explain or control.
12 is never being sure that she’s okay, but clinging to faith that she will be.
Navigating motherhood in a world that’s so different than the one I grew up in isn’t easy. I have to direct her through things I didn’t have to experience in a pre-Internet existence.
But some things don’t change. And the same way my mom had to figure out how to give me both roots and wings, I have to do the same for Meghan.
So while 12 can be a lot of uncertainty, there’s more.
12 is independence.
12 is confidence.
12 is courage.
12 is fun!
While she’s changing and figuring out who she is and wants to be, I will remind her that some things will never change. Her kind soul, her love for God, and her family’s love will remain no matter what.
Happiest of birthdays to you, Meghan. May 12 be your best year yet.
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