She is the reason that I have not loved my body for 29 years, and yet she is also the reason that I know how to love anything at all.

She is the reason I had to get married two months after I graduated high school, and yet she is also the reason I knew I had to get unmarried less than two years later.

She is the reason I decided to go to college, and why I worked so hard to do well, and yet she is also the reason I gave up a good job where I actually needed my degree, to instead do a job where I earned so much less money, but was so much more satisfied.

She has been the reason for some of my dreadfully painful headaches, and yet she has also been the reason for many of my spectacularly splendid joys.

She used to be the smartest and most charmingly adorable little girl I ever knew, until she became the mother of two who are far smarter, and infinitely more charming, and breathtakingly more adorable, than maybe she ever was.

She was the heaviest baby in the nursery the morning she was born, a cold January Thursday, and I had her bundled from head to toe in a pink and gray snow-suit with a fur hood and attached mittens on the bitter Saturday I brought her home, and today, a cold January Friday, she is thinner than I have ever remembered her being, and on vacation in Hawaii with her handsome successful boyfriend, and surely not bundled up at all and quite likely wearing a bikini.

She has piercingly stunning green eyes, much like my mother’s, and yet so many people tell both of us how much they think we look alike.

I have watched as her broken wrist was set, after she fell backwards off a bench under her favorite tree of childhood, and laughed so hard at the hospital when she said she was going to tell the kids at school she broke it playing hockey, because she did not want anybody to think she was a klutz, and I have watched as she comforted her youngest child, whose elbow needed to be set after falling down my stairs, and although surely she wanted to cry, seeing her baby in so much pain, she kept her mood light and made that little blonde toddler laugh.

I watched her suck her thumb for years, begging her to stop, and using every deterrent known to womankind to get her to break the habit, and now watch her plead with her youngest to stop sucking HER thumb, but with patient understanding, because she remembers very well how hard it was to kick.

At 5:04 this morning she became a 29-year-old woman…’how can I possibly be a mother of a woman just that much shy of 30?‘ I asked myself today while waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, while I stared out at the crescent moon, thinking about my life and her life, and life in general…There are characteristics and traits about her that drive me positively bat-shit crazy, and there are qualities about her that I wish every person on the planet could possess.  She is my daughter, and she is the reason that I know how to love anything at all.


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