After six years of enjoying our early years of marriage, 27 years ago today, my husband David and I were blessed with the 1st of three miracles. As our oldest daughter Heather entered this world a month earlier than expected, our lives were changed for the better. I will never forget that early morning hour when I called the MD who said “no, it’s too early” soon after which my water broke and the strong sensation of life entering this world began. Arriving at the hospital, the doctor claimed “it will be hours” as it was our first, to only have the nurses call him immediately back around, in time to help bring her into this world.
For a variety of reasons we waited to have children, and yet, once we were gifted with our daughter Heather, we discovered that waiting caused us to miss out on some of the greatest joys of being parents. We also discovered, very early on, that each child brings with them their own personality that develops as they grow under your care.
It did not take long before we discovered the night owl, who enjoyed being awake late at night. Exhaustion became my way of life, as I acquired partial rest at night, staying awake while she snuggled and played into the wee hours of the morning. If only she would have napped on the weekends as she did at the sitters during the week, I would have then been able to catch up on sleep in those early years.
Reading and telling stories took her to a new world filled with magic. It opened her eyes to adventures beyond the four walls of our home, the backyard sandbox, park playground and neighboring sights. She was expanding her wings with a need for adventure and curiosity beyond what we ever thought a young mind could envision.
To discipline and send her to her room to “think about what she had done” turned out not the wisest decision. We soon discovered that this punishment was just another opportunity to expand her mind through the chapters of another book. Eventually we had to place her in on the couch, removing all reading materials, to allow the thought process of her actions to actually take place. But to say she was punished often would be an inaccurate statement.
We watched her grow with faith and strength with a mind of her own. Her passion for life, to see the world, to help others, to live life to the fullest was apparent as she stepped out into the real world. She needed those wings, because walking could not provide her with the speed in which her heart needed her to travel.
It was hard to watch her grow, gaining independence from the protective embrace of home and finding a need to learn new things on her own, including the need to learn from her own mistakes rather than from what we could share. From mission trips to college life, marriage and into the working world, we saw her wings of life build up with strength taking her to many places. It allowed her to meet others with confidence, go to new places with anticipation, and to take the challenges of life with strength of an eagle.
There were moments when I had shed tears from a mother’s heart, witnessing the independence she was able to take on, while focused on the direction in which the winds were pulling her. As she departed my heart was breaking as the self-doubts of mistakes I had made, might have been the reason for the speed in which the flight had taken place.
As time passed, I regained my confidence in the mom I had been. I was never perfect, making mistakes I wish I could write out of the book of life. But, there was no doubt that I loved my little girl. I see reflections of myself in her, some of her dad, but mostly I see a young woman who has become someone I admire and respect. My love for our daughter is beyond what I could ever have imagined. My love for her is strong, is faithful, and is bonded to the root of her heart, and will never grow weary from being her mom.
Heather, you honor me by being my daughter. You make me proud of you with each new accomplishment. You bring joy to my heart when I hear you talk, as I can hear the compassion and love you have for others. When we talk, you make my days even brighter. And, when we are together, the warmth of your presence makes me feel “at home”, filled with the love I always desired for you.
Happy Birthday to my daughter Heather!! May God continue to enrich your life, filled with joy and happiness.