Saturday, October 31, 2009
Twelve years ago, I had been in labor for the past 20 hours and was just arriving at the hospital around midnight on Halloween. I'd known, even though I'd awakened in labor on October 30, that I was destined to have a Halloween baby.
And, at 6:55 am, after 25 hours of labor and about an hour of pushing, my first child was born.
Sylvia has endured the brunt of my mistakes as a first-time mom. I gave in to the crying, I would drive her around to get her to sleep. Yep, I was *that* kind of new mom.
Still, those amateur mistakes on my part have given us a kind of bond. We've grown up a lot together, Sylvia and I.
We've cried together over X. We both had to deal with missing him terribly in those first few months. We both had to accept our new lives in a way that Riley, being as young as she was, couldn't comprehend like we could. We both had some major growing up to do.
Our relationship has the ups and downs that one could totally expect given who we are. She's a Scorpio, I'm an Aries. I'm her mother, she's a pre-adolescent. No one can get us as mad as we get each other, but then we can also laugh together and drool over Johnny Depp together, too.
She likes to say she's following in my footsteps as a performer, but that she'll go farther, and I hope she does. She's a talented singer, a beautiful dancer, a really really great actress, and she already has more talent than I ever did because she's an excellent award-winning visual artist as well.
She has grown so much in the past year. She is so much healthier emotionally this fall than she was last spring. She makes me laugh with her dry wit. And the physical growth is astonishing. And I know it's just the beginning. She's already starting to wear my hand-me-downs in tops. Before I know it, she'll be raiding my closet on a regular basis.
She also follows in my footsteps in wearing her heart on her sleeve. She feels everything so deeply. As her mother, I want to protect her from that, but I remember all too well. I know I can't stop her. All I can do is comfort her when she needs it, and encourage her to take some breaths now and then.
She told me after her last therapy session that aside from the issues with her dad, "I have a great life." I managed to hold back my own emotions just then from bursting into tears of joy.
We both still have a lot of growing up to do. When I see her smile, when she wraps her arms around me in a hug, when she kisses me goodnight, when she calls me bursting with her latest news, when she texts me that she loves me, I know we'll both make it.
Happy birthday, my sweet Sylvia! I love you with all my heart.
Posted by April at 12:00 AM