Thursday, May 20, 2010

Upon the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of my daughter

27 years ago, right about now, I was blissing out in the sun streaming through the window of the birthing room at the 'new' VGH, with this perfect, little pink bundle in my arms, nursing contentedly. My daughter was born at 7:17 am on May 20th, arriving quickly after keeping us all waiting for 3 weeks past the due date. She was the first granddaughter born into a family of 10 grandsons and was showered with all the pink and fluffy, frilly things that everyone had been waiting to give a baby. Her grandfather came to visit her in the hospital and when I said "let's go see her", stopped in his tracks with the marvel at having a granddaughter.

She grew up around a lot of boys, followed her beloved big brother around in adoration. She spent lots of time with her father, who thought she could do anything and she learned to be fearless on cliffs, rocks and logs around the ocean. She grew up in a housing co-op with many loving adults and enough "other-mothers" to show her many ways to be a woman. She challenged me with her independence at an early age and knew who I was long before I was brave enough to acknowledge my own knowingness.

She traversed her inner world like her outer world, with the spirit of an explorer in her teens. She called out her teachers and her peers when they fell short and developed ferocious loving friendships and relationships. We learned to accept and appreciate each other during those stormy teenage years, when the turbulent times were affecting us both. She moved in with the man who is now her husband just before she finished high school and I packed her up with my blessing and celebrated her moving powerfully into her life.

She has nurtured that romance into a strong, solid marriage with a man who loves her immeasurably. They exchanged vows in a wedding ceremony that brought together 130 people in their community, joining families and friends into their inviting circle. My daughter became a mother last year, blessing me with a miraculous grandson, who she shares with me so openly. She has created a home which is a welcome place for everyone, it is often full and lively. She is growing a beautiful garden and is often happiest with her hands in the dirt. Her son is treasured by many people and will grow up in this community that she continues to build. She knows that she has work to do on this planet and that it is not always easy to be the one to show others their strength and possibility, but like everywhere else in her life, she tackles it with determination and bravery.

She has taught me more about who I am than I can fathom. She trusts that I have answers when I feel like I haven't a clue. She knows before the phone rings that I am calling her and is connected to me so deeply it feels like the umbilical cord was never cut, 27 years ago.

Happy birthday to my darling daughter - I am so glad you are in my life!
image credit to mmmcraft


Unknown said...

Such a beautiful piece, Carol. No wonder your daughter shed a few tears. How very fortunate both of you are. You have each worked, allowed, and loved. A great combination for a good relationship. I enjoyed this post so very much. Thank you for sharing this part of you with people who don't know you as well. You are truly 'showing' us who you are.

Ruth said...

I enjoyed this too, immensely. It is moving, the ways you've acknowledged her knowing of you, more than you knew yourself. She sounds incredible! As a parent, you have to be so proud, and also acknowledge that you nudged her into who she is.

There are many similarities to my own children, especially my son, who is the same age. My daughter was born 4 weeks late (just the doctor's miscalculation, I think). But it's my son who is the knowing soul, like your daughter, I think.

Powerful and beautiful stuff here. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.