I awoke at the break of dawn feeling tender and deeply grateful. It is my daughter’s tenth birthday. I actually woke up out of a sound sleep at approximately 3 o’clock in the morning which was almost exactly when she was born ten years ago today and as I write this my eyes well up with tears. Tears of joy. Tears of amazement. Tears that tell me how much I love my beautiful daughter.
She is a sacred being. We share the sacred contract between mother and daughter. She is my only child brought to me just a week before I turned forty-two. I somehow got lucky enough to be given the opportunity to tend to this little being, to guide her in this life. Though still young, she is most definitely an old soul.
I feel the magnitude of being a mother, both the weight of the responsibility and the joyous privilege of getting to raise this child. Her name is Meera Jasmine. I can remember the eve of her birth and the lengths we went to in order to nudge my body into labor after it had begun and then stalled.
Eventually it was the castor oil cocktail that brought on the powerful waves which some ten hours later opened my body wide enough to birth my daughter into this world. It seems like only a short while ago, and yet it’s been a decade.
Now my daughter struts through the world, swishing about with confidence and joy. I love that she can go into our local Thai restaurant to pay for our takeout by herself! I watch her walk down the street, sometimes a few paces ahead of me and I marvel at who she has become.
She knows what she likes. She knows what she wants and even more importantly, she knows who she is.
She is strong and incredibly sensitive. She has moved through the 9-year change and has entered into the shallows of adolescence as her little girl’s body begins to show signs of transition.
I notice that she is choosing to spend more time alone in her room. The other day she asked me to help her hang a soft, fuzzy, teal blue blanket across the bottom of her loft bed which she calls “a wall.” Here she can read and listen to Selena Gomez, Daya and Justin Timberlake while cozied up in her bean bag chair her long-limbed, lithe body swaddled in rich burgundy fleece.
She craves sovereignty and yet at the same time there are many nights when she says, “Mama, can I sleep in your bed?” She is straddling two worlds. She needs her space and still very much wants me close. I open my heart wider to accommodate this passage from young girl to tween.
Whether she is sweet, open and loving or in a moment of contraction or sadness I am here to hold her. I am here as her witness. I am here to love and tend to the garden of her heart.
It is an honor to imprint her again and again with pure, unadulterated Mama’s love.
My prayer is that she absorbs this reflection of love and acceptance so that the cup of her being is full— so that she knows she is loved.
My job as Mama is to shower her with the multi-dimensional flavors of love, to love her so fully that she is infused with the transmission of her own essential goodness; in this she can rest and self-soothe in moments when I cannot be there.
She is stepping out into the larger world, choosing to put her hat in the ring for Student Council, expressing herself through personal style, book choices and more. She is emphatically herself and she is on her own individual journey. I trust that she has what she needs to walk gracefully through life as I release her now just a little bit more into the loving arms of the Universe.