My dear Lydia took forever to come out. Labor pains were strong and regular during our card game Saturday night. I was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening, and she did not decide to turn her head and slip into the world for two more days, arriving Tuesday, March 10, 1998. Because the process took so much out of her, her breathing was labored and they swooped her away to special care. From her very first moments, I worried about Lydia. In fact, if we want to be completely honest, I think I can admit I worried about her before she was even conceived.
I am very aware that this has changed the way we parent her. Perhaps it is the same with all first children: the newness of learning how to parent gave us immense joy and deep worry. For the first couple years of her life she was the absolute center of our universe. Every move we made was for her.
My girl, the on-and-off vegetarian, who requested grapefruit for her birthday breakfast. Incidentally, she also asked for a wombat, small house in Costa Rica, St. Bernard puppy, new house, 5, 235 oreos, and a trip to Australia (among other things).
Teenagers ARE a little out-of-touch with reality.
But they are also deeply imaginative and hopeful.
She is a dreamer. There is so much in her head and her heart, and only a very small percentage of it ever gets seen or heard by those around her.
In the very little moments we are together in the car she gives me little tidbits of the day. Though sometimes she just says it was “terrible” and “fine” all at once, and that’s all I get. I know there is so much more…that her mind and her heart are over-flowing with information that she ponders.
I know this because as a young child she came to me saying she could not sleep because her head was too full. I gave her a pencil and told her to empty it onto paper. After 8 pages front and back, there was still more coming.
She is so deeply connected to things that most people do not see, feel, or notice. We get to experience her reality only when we are very lucky.
For some reason (I don’t remember why) some of her friends call her Dory. Maybe because the internalness of her makes her appear spacey
sometimes often. Because of her, Abby wrote in her spelling sentences “There is a lot of clumsiness in our house.”
She is grumpy and ridiculous at times. Aren’t we all?
Here at this table, as I listened to her laugh with friends, enjoying exotic flavors and big flames, I realized that maybe I can finally let go of that worry.
I felt a deep spiritual understanding that all. will. be. well.
Aaron and I already feel her separating from us, coming to her own understanding of God and the universe. We are ready to know her as she moves into adulthood, humbled by what we could have done differently and grateful for the opportunity to try again.
Thank you, my sweet girl, for small but bright windows into your world, for your quiet brilliance, and for making us laugh. Fifteen is going to be very good, I am sure of it.