Today, we are celebrating the birth of our first Granddaughter. It was a hard road to get her here. I won’t bore you with the specifics but it’s truly a miracle that she was born at all. I can honestly say that I will never forget the sight of her being born after a long and painful delivery process. I won’t forget watching my daughter, struggle to bring her into the world, as she held my hand and stared up into my face. I won’t forget praying that the pain would be over for her soon. I won’t forget watching her husband coach her on so lovingly, and cut his newborn daughter’s umbilical cord. I will not ever forget the sight of my granddaughter tumbling into the world and my feelings of awe….and terror. I may or may not have done some ugly crying in that moment.
I watched her begin her life… and I watched my daughter struggling to regain her equilibrium and begin her life as a Mom. I watched as my granddaughter nursed for the first time and how my daughter’s entire universe tilt-shifted towards her in that very moment. I recognized the signs because I have had that exact same moment with my daughter and son. There is incredible power in becoming a mom. Just imagine… your daughter will quiet at the sound of your voice in the curve of your arm. Just by holding her you can lower a fever. You and Ian will be her whole world for many, many years. She will need you like nobody has ever needed you. It’s overwhelming and terrifying and exhausting. And, It’s worth every damn second.
I can’t put an age to it, but I remember at some point feeling as though I’d learned it all. I was years deep in motherhood before I learned how much I had left to learn. I don’t know where you’re at but I think it would be beneficial to you if you accepted right here and now that there is a lifetime of lessons ahead. Motherhood stretches you and opens your eyes to crazy truths and questions without definitive answers. If you can realize that now…you will be way ahead of the game. I have a pretty good hunch of who you are, and of the kind of mom you are going to be. For what it’s worth, you’ve got this. I know you do.
And consider this… you come from a long line of first daughters. Your daughter, Maddie, has been added to that history, as a first daughter. There have been such powerful, graceful, intelligent women in our family lineage and I already know that Maddie is the culmination. She is a powerful force in this world. I know you will raise her in that belief. I truly do believe that as the Dalai Lama said…”western women will save the world.”
Call me whenever. Call me when she won’t stop crying or when you can’t. Call me when she first smiles on purpose. Call me when it hits: the awe of being somebody’s mom. Call me because you matter to me and she matters to me and even if I’m busy I always want to hear from you. You know that I am always going to make time to hold your hand and Maddie’s. Not because you need it. But because I want to. I know in the days and months and years ahead, you will understand that feeling now. As a matter of fact, the best advice I can give you is this…just hold her hand. Holding your hand thru the years has changed my life. I know it will change yours.