9 years ago today I woke up at 6:00 am, showered, made sure my hospital bag was ready and then we casually drove to the Labor and Delivery wing of our hospital and checked in. Being induced is a funny thing. It felt like I was checking into a hotel. We were shown our room and we unpacked. Seriously.
But the nice thing was that I was so incredibly present in the birth of my first child. I wasn't distracted by trying to figure out if this was labor or how to keep it going. None of that.
My first words when I saw her were "Oh my God she's beautiful." To which my mother replied, "of course she is."
I can't believe 9 years has gone by. In a blink. That's what all the parents of older children told me would happen, but in those early days of middle-of-the-night feedings and a house full of gates and locks, I didn't quite believe it. But now I watch her long legs as she runs up the stairs or fixing her hair in the reflection she finds in car windows and realize how big she really is.
She is growing into this amazing young lady. Watching her unfold and peel back all the layers that make her who she is is an incredible thing. She loves to read, paint, play music on her recorder and viola, and has a smart ass side too that reassures me she'll never take crap from anyone. She is so determined, independent, and smart. So many qualities that can be troublesome in a 9-year old but that you know you will be thankful for in years to come.
My daughter is beautiful and she hates it when I call her "pretty" so we will stick with "cute" for now. But really we are just splitting hairs.
So, Happy Birthday to my dear SweetPea, the little girl who makes me catch my breath and marvel at how very lucky I am.