How Quickly They Grow

My daughter is going to be seventeen this week! Seventeen is a milestone in that she can get her Driver’s License now, though it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.  Getting a license in Manhattan is a bit complicated.  She has a permit, and can drive when an adult licensed driver is in the car with her, but since she hasn’t taken Driver’s Ed she can’t get her full license until she’s eighteen.  Her call.  Road test is in early June.  She’s a great driver.  No doubt she will pass.

It’s so nice to have a driver.  I can send text messages and emails while I take her to school now.  She drives me to apartment showings and can wait in the car so I don’t have to worry about parking; we just have to hope that nobody asks her to move the car, since she can’t without an adult with a license sitting beside her! When this happens, however, she just calls me and I run downstairs.

I remember the day my daughter was born.  It was the most amazing experience of my life.  I had never been one of those women who loved being pregnant.  In fact, I really didn’t like being pregnant at all.  I felt nauseous every single day for nine and a half months, and I didn’t like the physical changes that my body was going through.  I would stand naked in front of a full length mirror every single day, lamenting on my widening thighs, the black line below my belly button, my ever expanding belly.  What I wondered was why, with all of the incredible things that can be achieved in modern medicine, my baby couldn’t be hatched in an incubator where I could visit it and then pick it up on the due date.

Well, all of that changed the second I met her.  I won’t even get into the labor, other than to say that if I had lived in the olden days we would both be dead. 

It wasn’t fast. 

It wasn’t pretty.

It hurt.

But then… I met Morgan.  One of the nurses put her down on my breast and she looked right into my eyes.  We were immediately madly in love with each other.

“Oh,” she said with her eyes.  “There you are.  I was wondering when I would meet you.”

“Oh,” I said silently to her.  “You don’t look at all like I imagined, but you are perfect in every way.  I will love you and take care of you forever.”

And that was it.  We were forever bound.  I had not expected a little baby girl with a full head of hair.  She looked like she had just come out of the baby beauty parlor, with a perfect little pixie do.  She was adorable.  In fact, she was so cute that they wanted to use her as the model “bath” baby in the Maternity Ward, but I said “No way!”  My baby was not going to be a naked model for a bunch of gaping new parents.  She had her dignity after all.

It is hard to believe that seventeen years have passed.  Morgan and I are looking at colleges together now, and she is driving us there and back when time permits (she can’t go quite as fast as me yet).  She is a grown young woman with her own opinions, friends and politics.  She is an incredible person.  She is nothing at all like the daughter I always dreamed of having. 

She is better.

I always tell her:

“All my life I always dreamed of having a little girl, and you’re even better than the little girl I always dreamed of.”

I could not have imagined a child so interesting, so complicated, so unique.  I remember so many amazing events that we have lived through together, from the time she was a tiny little baby right up until now.  On Thursday I will write about some of the highlights, since she’s a Cinco de Mayo baby, and Thursday is Cinco de Mayo.

Happy almost birthday baby.  I love you madly.


About mallorylayne

midlife mom seeking meaning for the rest of her life.
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