When I became pregnant with my first child, I knew for certain it was going to be a boy. Even though I dreamed of a little girl with bouncing red curls, twirling in a full skirt on a sun warmed hill, I prepared myself for a son.
The doctor did not speak, he only held up her chubby little body for my quick inspection. “It’s a girl,” I exclaimed, and from outside my hospital room’s door I heard a cheer from my family members. I had a daughter! What’s more, her little peachy fuzz on her sweet little head was red, as were her eyebrows. I had my little redheaded girl.
This sweet angel had changed me forever, for I was now, and would always be, a mother. And all the milestones occurred. First smiles, first teeth, first words and first steps. And as she grew she became all I ever wished for, and more than I could have ever dreamed of.
Then one day, she came home from first grade, a tiny little envelope clutched in her chubby hand. “Mom, I lost a tooth!” And for a moment, my world stood still. Wasn’t it only yesterday she grew her first tooth? It couldn’t be true. I wasn’t ready for her to grow up. I had only just gotten her, she was my baby. Mine. And God began to speak to me.
He told me that she was His. Loving her meant helping her to reach her full potential, and I should rejoice in every process of growth as she neared the time when one day she would be independent.
And my heart again cried, “Mine!” But slowly, as He does, God began to help me understand. He showed me that even though I loved her as much as my heart could love, He loved her more.
And so as her body changed from a little girl to a big girl, and then to a young woman, I gave her up to God. I rejoiced. There were little clenches of my heart as I watched this process happen seemingly overnight. But it is God’s plan for our children to grow and mature.
All I could do was love her, train her, show her life, and try to lead by example. And during this time of mothering, something else beautiful was happening. There were times when she taught me things. There were times when I watched her extreme thoughtfulness and said to myself, “I want to be like her.”
Then one night, a handsome young man, came to her father and I saying, “I want to marry Victoria,” and my world stopped. I thought, “But she just got her teeth…” But in this young man’s eyes I saw hope and love. His future hinged on our answer. I knew in my heart, he was the one, and my daughter was moving on to the next season of her life.
She married the day after her 21st birthday. I could recall holding her in the hospital as if it were only yesterday, and now, she was a woman, a bride and a wife.
I handled her empty seat at the dinner table and the closed door to her bedroom pretty well. But Christmas morning was difficult. “She should be here,” I thought. But God reminded me that she needed to make new Christmas traditions with her husband. Just last week, I was folding the clothes and had a pile for each of the boys, and for a moment I wondered where Victoria’s pile was. I felt a pang.
But, I will always be her mother. We spend wonderful times together and share many one on one moments. This is God’s plan. Not that she remain a little child, under my wing and protection, but that she stand tall under God’s wing and protection.
I am thankful that God gave me this daughter, and I now enjoy watching her take charge of her life. And when her day is bad and she needs someone, I am still the lucky one who gets the phone call.
I have not lost a daughter, nor will I ever. My daughter is a mature young lady, and that is as it should be.