When did it happen? When did she become so…so…teenagery? Twelve years ago today I went to see my doctor. I was tired and fat and swollen and my pelvis bones felt as if they might simply give out and fracture into tiny pieces at any moment. I was still 4 1/2 weeks from my due date and the doctor joked about how my Thanksgiving dinner would probably be the last meal I would eat in piece that year. I was tempted to grab his jacket and throw him to the floor.
Charlie was out of town but would be back that evening; a business trip he took only after the doctor assured him there would be no baby girl soon. On the 29th of October, all signs pointed to a Thanksgiving baby.
But the morning of the 30th was a different day. There were different signs. Charlie had flown in late the night before but was up early to head downtown to work. He tried not to wake me but when you are a thousand pounds pregnant sleep is not a place your venture into deeply. While he showered I made what I assumed would be my first of a million trips to the bathroom for the day.
I whispered to myself in total disgust and frustration because what I had feared had finally come true…I had just peed all over myself. Or so I thought. I waddled to the bathroom, lamenting to Charlie what was happening, saying, “And it won’t stop. I’m still peeing. This is terrible!”
It only took me about 2 minutes of standing there, pitying myself, thinking I had lost complete and total control of my bladder before I realized my water broke.
“My water broke. MY WATER BROKE! MY WATERRRRRR BROKE!!!!!”
I called the doctor, who laughed, and said he’d meet us at the hospital. She burst into this world over a month early yet weighing over 6 1/2 pounds. She was long and lean and oh, could she scream. She hated the bilirubin lights we had to keep her under for days. She fought and she fussed and she screamed. We were surprised at all the screaming.
She’s been surprising us ever since so you’d think I would be used to the surprising.
And yet no.
This morning as I sat at the stop sign, waiting for cars to speed by, I turned and caught a glimpse of this amazing creation. This miracle we were sure would never happen. She was completely unaware that I was staring in awe and had no idea I snapped a picture. I wanted to capture the moment. I want to capture all the moments. I want a great big jar to hold the beauty, like a lightening bug on a summer night, so I can sit and watch it shine.
But just as my mom always made me turn lightening bugs loose to live another night, I know I am turning Shelby loose as well. Not all at once, like my sparkly summer bug friends, but day by day, moment by moment. She is growing into the beauty that God created her to be; a lovely young woman who not only reflects but shines the light of Jesus. She shines. I want to watch her shine. I look forward to seeing he soar and fly. I will treasure in my heart the baby she was, the promise from God, and the woman he is molding her to be.
On today. the day before her 12th birthday, I am surprised, again, at the blessing God continues to blanket over her…and me. This teenagery girl. This girl who makes her daddy’s heart melt and her momma scream. This girl who never ceases to surprise us. And me, the woman who is blessed to be her mom.