Mia turned fourteen on January 10th. This marks fourteen years since I became a mother for the first time.
Every year since Mia’s birth, I replay the birth almost hour by hour–well, at least the waking hours. This year was no different in that regard.
This this year, however, was different in another way. When I replayed Mia’s birth this year, I did not feel sad or nostalgic as I have in previous years.
I don’t know why this change occurred. Perhaps it has something to do with the passing of time. Or with the healing process. Or with the unraveling of the heart that happens when we are deeply in love with our children. Whatever the reason, I feel acceptance and gratitude for both right now and for what has been.
When Mia was younger, I was a bit worried about what the teenage years would bring. How would she change? Would she reject me and our family? Many people told me that everything would change, that she would rebel and become self-absorbed in her teenage years.
Deep in my heart, I didn’t really believe that. Still, I had my doubts at times. I believed that if we were connected when she was a baby and a young child, we would continue to be connected throughout her life. I believed that if I treated her with respect and authenticity, she would return that to me.
I hope that this belief continues to hold true. So far, it has.
It is hard to describe in words what it has meant to be a mother. I am sure that I share these feelings with mothers and maybe even fathers around the globe and across time. I know I am not unique in this way. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to express this and to put it into words the best I can.
Being a mother has been the greatest honor of my life. It is a love unlike any I’ve ever known. The closest love to this is the love I feel for my own mother. It is a deep and primal love. It is unchanged by time and circumstance. It is completely unconditional.
It is a love that has transformed me.
Mia is an incredible human being. She is grounded, confident, kind, honest, compassionate, forgiving, thoughtful, independent, witty, quick to laugh, generous, loyal, humorous, and wise beyond her years. She has never hit another child, not even her sister. She is a better human being than I have been in all my life.
And I wonder, how did I deserve this? Out of all the mothers in this world, how did I get to be hers?
I am unspeakably grateful for, in awe of, and humbled by her.
Happy birthday, Mia.
Laughing on Mia’s birthday