When you were a baby, I would hold you long after you were done feeding.
I loved to hold you, and would just stare at you.
Then you grew a little taller, and you had no time for me to just hold you,
you were a joyful baby, talking, laughing, playing with your older brother.
Then you became a preschooler and were so interested in the things and people around you. You loved birthday parties, even from the very start, wanting to stay longer and make sure we got all the parts, the cake, the presents, the games.
And then school. You loved being with the other kids, loved the structure, loved the smell of the pencils and paper and books and school parties.
We then homeschooled and it was disappointing to you
you made the best of it, though, striving to excel through your daily work
and then the ballet and gymnastics, tumbling, youth group
the singing lessons and acting school, cheerleading
the friends and playdates and swimming and long summer days
Things changed for us when we moved.
You started high school and were ready to take it on
senate, and cheer, and honors classes
dances and games and proms
friends and new friends, jobs and outings
you filled your days with self discovery
I know there are hurts and pain you keep from me
I know the years were not easy on you
but you made the best of it
you went to Panama
and now your senior year,
the last months that are supposed to be filled
with shopping for prom dresses and laughter’
looking forward to final high school days with friends
instead, we wait
we see our community get shut down
we hear about sickness and death
and it is scary and sad and uncertain.
Here is what I know
the baby that I held almost 18 years ago
has come so far, learning so much, being so much
loving so much, some because of me, some in spite of me
You have made a beautiful life
and although this part does not make sense and is unfair,
here is what I know
you will make it beautiful and full of love
and something that is just your own
you will share your goodness and your story
and we will all be better for it
I am sad and happy and proud and expectant
of this wonderful life you will make