Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday was Katie's 20th birthday, and she was celebrating all right. Just not with her parents. She is in Prague for five weeks with a global marketing class, but has been taking side trips each weekend. Therefore she turned 20 in the French Riviera instead of St. Louis. So for the first time in 20 years, I was not with my girl on her birthday.
That got me thinking about birthdays in general. When it is our birthday, we tend to think only about ourselves. After all, it is OUR day. But we don't stop to think about the woman who made it possible for us to have a day to celebrate. On the birthday of each of my children I always flash back to the day they were born. There was the pain, of course. Whoever said you forget the pain is a filthy liar. But there was also the awe of holding that baby for the first time, counting the fingers and toes. Katie was whisked away from us almost immediately because she was born with a collapsed lung. She spent several days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and I was alone in my room. It made me wonder how women who had lost their babies coped, because my arms felt so empty without her. But all those babies in the NICU, some so critically ill! We very quickly realized how lucky we were that Katie's illness was so minor.
Twenty years ago I was a very blessed new mom. And today I thank God for the lovely young woman I am proud to call my daughter. Happy birthday, Katie!