Today, ten years ago, Emma Elizabeth was born.
Emma because we liked it, Elizabeth for a long line of strong, amazing women in my family.
The summer she was born was a tough one. Within three months, both my grandfathers were diagnosed with terminal cancer and had passed away painfully and terribly. The day we buried my last grandfather, we found out my mother had breast cancer. Within two weeks she had had a radical mastectomy and was facing long rounds of chemo. I would sit in the hospital with her while I was (seriously) humongously pregnant. Humongously is not actually a word, but it is definitely how I felt. The day Emma was born my mom sat next to my bed, still with drains attached to her body. And we rejoiced.
Babies are wonderful. Babies heal.
Emma, what a joy you have been to me. You have helped me to reach places in my soul I didn't know I had. I was terrified to become a parent. Terrified I didn't have what it took or I would screw you up. But it has been a wonderful journey.
Emma wants to get her ears pierced today for her birthday. I am completely surprised that I am having a hard time with it. Why in the world, I thought, would this be such a big deal? I think I am realizing it is because it symbolizes some sort of rite-of-passage, a big growing-up-thing. I am afraid she will get up from the ear-piercing chair and look like a tween. There are lots of times I wish I could slow down her childhood. But I can't. So I am trying to enjoy every moment I can.
Emma, I am far from a perfect parent and there are lots of things I am always working on. But I can tell you this much: you are loved.
Emma at three