My oldest child turns 38 today. Geez. How can that be? Now, before you do the math, she’s actually my stepdaughter. She’s the one who didn’t grow under my heart, but in it. I love her unreservedly; she’s taught me a great deal about who I am. So, she’s my oldest child. The one who started it all.
Our relationship hasn’t always been easy. Until I had a child of my blood, I didn’t realize that this was normal. There are many things I wish I could redo, but, as with biological children, you only get the one shot. Fortunately, through the grace of God, we have a wonderful relationship today that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I’m always a little nostalgic on my daughters’ birthdays. I remember our pasts, good and bad, and I’m thankful for our futures, good and bad. I learned long ago that there is much truth in the old axiom that a mother is only as happy as her saddest child. When they hurt, we hurt. When they’re happy, our spirits soar. I guess it’s God’s way.
As a mother of adults, we want to think our work is done. Truth is, it’s not. It’s actually never done. I look at posts on social media of young mothers and smile in remembrance of those simple times. Enjoy them, ladies. One day your babies will be grown, and you’ll still find yourselves on your knees at 4 in the morning, asking God to bring your child joy and peace. Much, much more than you are now. You think that the raising will one day come to an end. It doesn’t. Mothers never get a quitting time. We’re on for life.
I really don’t know how women who don’t have a strong relationship with God make it through. God and I have wrestled many, many hours over our girls, and I know that we have many more hours of combat ahead. I’m just thankful that, not only do I have that team effort with God, my spectacular girls do as well. I have many regrets, but showing my girls how to interact with their Creator isn’t one of them.
So, Happy Birthday to my oldest child, the beautiful and incomparable, Misty. I love you and am so thankful that you are a part of my life. You paved the way for your sister, but more than that, you became a part of who I am. I love you, child. May your future be filled with joy.