6:30. I roll over in bed and bump into the three year old who’s climbed in with us in the night. I think about going back to sleep but instead think of my second-born. It seems like only a year or three ago that she was climbing in bed with me in the night. But today she is 18. Two job interviews next week. Heading off to college this fall. We’re planning a party for her tomorrow evening, but today is shaping up to be a normal Friday. She has Spanish class this morning, and then a house to clean (her current part-time job.)
I think about the day she was born, how I labored slowly all night. Then in a 45-minute rush at 7 AM I went from 5 centimeters to holding her in my arms. 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Scarlet, screaming. Gorgeous. My heart swells for the baby that she was 18 years ago, and the faithful, intensely hard-working, witty, accomplished person she has become.
We’ll be waiting till tomorrow morning to give her the traditional Owlhaven birthday breakfast in bed. But I find myself longing to begin the celebrating, and so I get up and make her french toast with strawberries and powdered sugar, arranged artfully. She looks pleased and thanks me and eats and I drink my coffee and we read the paper together.
And I thank God for the blessing of her.