It is commonly thought, when our children are peeking into adulthood, that perhaps we didn’t enjoy them as much as we should have. Perhaps if we knew then what we know now–that time passes quickly–we would have treasured more dearly even the long and tedious days of the early years.
Yet here on the morning of Emma’s seventeenth birthday, I am not filled with that regret. Instead, my heart finds joy. I have loved my daughter fully and deeply. I have cherished the sum of all the memories: the daily searching for “Dolly,” the curls around the nape of her neck, the fondness for avocados. I love her “ways”: The way she doesn’t like parties, but she loves holidays. The way she takes care of Anna when the thunder rolls at night. The way she waits with giddy anticipation for winter’s first snowflake or the first beach day of the summer.
And she is like a summer day. All warm and beautiful and full of light. Each day with her is a golden gift. My first girl brought with her all the charms of loveliness, and I am thankful to be her mother. Happy Birthday, Emma Love!