It is hard to believe it’s been 20 years. Remembering all the details seems appropriate today.
We showed up at the hospital around 7:30 in the morning and by 2:30 that afternoon I was inhaling the sweet smell of new baby as my little Miss squirmed to try to hold her head up and view the world. Her lips puckered as if she were deep in thought, and then her gaze met mine. In our first moment of connection, as our eyes searched each other – we remembered. She was my gift from God, one He had entrusted me to love, teach and care for. In that moment I felt time stop and knew my life and heart had changed forever.
Our first night home I rocked her to sleep in the early morning hours while the house was still quiet and drank in the feel of her soft wrinkled neck, the curve of her nose, the double cowlick on the back of her sweet head, and her curled up toes. I remember how my sweet angelic baby fit perfectly against my neck.
Even when I was up to my elbows in diapers, laundry, and crying babies, I knew time was precious and I needed to treasure each moment. I knew because everyone that had been there before warned of how quickly time would go – and it did.
…nights on end, sleeping with her on my chest because there wasn’t anywhere else she would sleep.
…the day she found her thumb and felt comfort from something besides me.
…begging time to stand still so I could treasure each precious moment.
…the day she streaked across the backyard in the midst of potty training.
…the night she fell off the bunk bed and hit her head.
…her eclectic habit of “collecting” things.
…socks rolled just right with shoelaces perfectly in place for the first day of kindergarten.
…begging time to move a little faster and praying for the patience to endure.
…Third grade when her teacher believed in her as much as I did.
…the day she learned to find peace in reading the scriptures.
…when she realized she could do hard things.
…the day she bore testimony of her Savior.
…High School graduation and cheering with pride at what she had accomplished.
…the day we left her at College.
…the day she walked away without looking back as she left on her mission.
I was there when she felt sick or scared or needed someone to talk to. And then there is today. She is over 1600 hundreds of miles away from me, but my heart is right there next to her, loving her as I always have. Believing in her as only a mother can do. She is amazing and unique – she is my daughter.
The walls of our home still echo with her laughter, ring with her screams of sheer joy, and vibrate with her stomps of frustration. Whenever I feel sad or lonely I listen carefully and can still hear.
Who knew letting go would be so hard? The emptying of our nest has not been at all what I expected. I feel excitement at the new adventures ahead, but I remember with tenderness the times that I never thought would end.
They all grow up, become independent, and the tides change. Suddenly you realize you need them more now than they need you. Arriving at this crossroad has been very strange.
I look at her today and see who she has become – a daughter that is glowing with light. Happy Birthday to my little Miss. How I love and miss you today – the day you were born!
16 thoughts on “Remembering: 20 Years Goes So Quickly”
I held my breath seeing the series of your daughter’s photographs. It’s so amazing how they make a chronology of life. And they really speak. I’m imagining how I will do the same thing collecting the pics of my daughter as she is almost 11 years old now… I’m so touched..
It truly is amazing how quickly they grow! Love that little girl of yours!
Words cannot express how this touched me, the first and the last one to leave are just difficult; but life back as a couple has been a new and wonderful adventure. We’re back to a couple home for the summer which is a harder adjustment than I expected! Thank you for your uplifting thoughts, you have a talent that deserves to be shared!
It is a hard transition but we are enjoying it as well! It’s all about discovering the new adventures and treasuring what has passed. Thank you for your kind words Christine! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed!
I LOVED this post. I am a little late in reading it. I am in tears. I was ok until you mentioned her leaving on her mission and her not looking back. I lost it. It makes me think of my missionary and how he too did not look back. I thought ” why didn’t he look back?” But as I think of it, I don’t want him to look back, just forward.. tThen I ugly cried when you wrote about children growing and becoming independent and us needing them more than they need us. It is so true. When my older boys go to their dads for weekends I think it is getting harder the older they get because it is less time I get to
Be with them and soon they will be grown and gone. Sigh. I still remember little marissa in my Primary class with her bright blue eyes Jr freckles across her nose. Where does time go? Thank you my friend.
Such sweet memories Allyson! Our cute Marissa and Easton are both looking forward to their great futures! I love that you could relate! Sometimes I think I must be the only one feeling these things! Thank you for your kind words and friendship!
This is so sweet and beautiful! A reminder to me to savor every moment with my two year old. <3
Love that age! They are so precious! I’m glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by!
I absolutely love this post! Beautifully expressed! I can relate to your feelings. Thank you! Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter!
Thank you Kathy!
Beautiful article, Lori!! A tribute to your sweet daughter, and the overarching, priceless, fleeting experience of being a mother!
Thank you Melanie! I always appreciate your insight!
Twenty years really does fly by. Can’t believe my oldest grandchild will be 6 this year. Seems like his mother should still be 12 years old.
I hear you! Thanks for stopping by!
Beautiful. And Happy Birthday to her! Katie x