today Ariana turns 13. i'm sitting in a hotel room with her and her best friend. we're on a weekend trip to celebrate her entrance into womanhood. and have lots of fun ;) while i'm sitting here, sounds of giggling coming from the next room, i'm a little overwhelmed at thinking she is 13. i had her when i was in college and i had no stinking clue what i was doing. young women in college are not supposed to have babies. they are not equipped for it. her conception was (obviously) a huge surprise. the shock was soon followed by joy, i knew i had always wanted babies. i was just getting an early start. i was a full time college student and a full time worker through my entire pregnancy. i had her in a birthing center that actually acted like a birthing center. i was allowed to lay in the grass outside while i labored and have all of my friends there. i was supported for my choice to go natural and encouraged when it got really bad and i thought i wanted to quit. but after 28 hours of labor, that blessed midwife finally said "PUSH!" by that point i would have done any crazy thing she asked if it meant the pain would stop. i did push. after a bit of that, they laid a beautiful, screaming baby on my chest and told me she was a girl. the second big surprise she gave me. while i stared at her red, wailing self, i had no idea my whole world had just changed. really, irrevocably, changed. i looked at her perfect face and said "hi" and she immediately stopped crying. as soon as she heard my voice she remembered that we know each other. we just sat and stared at one another, while chaos ensued around us from all of the people in the room. (we've learned with subsequent births that having everybody in the room isn't always the most relaxing ;)
because it was the middle of the night, soon they were all gone and it was just me and her. Eli was passed out on the couch. the lights were dim and she was wide awake. i can remember just staring at her tiny body.
i had never in my life felt so overwhelmed with love.
i had never felt this new foreign devotion. that i would literally slay a dragon for her.
that i would annihilate the person that caused her tears.
that i was her mama.
if someone had told me the kind of young woman she would be at 13, i'm not sure i would've believed it. her father and i were so very flawed in those early parenting things. i could spend weeks telling you everything we did wrong with that one and still not have enough time. when i think about that i realize that she turned into this incredible thing because it's just who she is. it's not her parenting. it's HER. she just really is an amazing being.
she is compassionate to a fault. she loves deeply and wholly. she is a lover of souls and she never fails to show it.
She is so very smart. smart and wise beyond her years. i would say she's an old soul, if i believed in such things.
she is a kind and loyal friend. one that any young girl would be blessed to have.
she's fun. lots and lots of fun.
she has a beautiful smile that she gives freely.
she is meant for amazing things. just amazing things.
i am honored to be her mother. i am more proud of her every day. she changed my life by simply being born. she changes my life each and ever day by being who she is. there is nothing i wouldn't do for her. she's my bean.