Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mother-Daughter... Mother-Son... Or, Then and Now

The other day my daughter moved out, with her 3 week old baby boy.  We helped.  We loaded boxes and some furniture.  And I kept disappearing to cry into some tissue.  Partly because I was just getting over a bout with sickness and felt drained and emotional.  And partly because it is just downright emotional watching your child leave home.  I am so thankful for every moment... even the challenging moments.  I am sure that I recently read that challenging moments are what make us grow and become better people.  But, that's a whole 'nother topic.

In the midst of my emotions, I forgot to pick up my camera a photo document the event.  Later I was encouraged by a message from my mom, Linda, who shared just how difficult it was when I moved out with my baby girl, 21 years ago.  Wheels started turning in my mind and I was inspired to compare photos... 

Here are pictures of my daughter and I... each of us in the hospital bed, having our first baby:
 First, me, I was 20:
And her, she was 20, too!

Then, my dad in the labor/delivery room withe me:
 And with her!:
Pictures of our newborn babes... mine (her!):
And hers:
(I caught his first bubble-blowing experience... at about an hour old!)

Being put in the carseat for the first time:
 And hers:
(I love the contrast of the pink on my baby girl and the brown on her baby boy! And how feminine she looks and how boyish he looks!)
The day I left home...
And when she left home:

 And I just have to share these two photos of my daughter... because I see this little face when I see Jayden:

What you don't see in the photo of her using the front carrier is truly funny... If you look at mine, I have her in a snuggly with a blanket covering the outside.  When she and I are out and she uses her "snuggly", she wraps a blanket around the outside, too!  I hadn't told her to or shown her to do this, she just does.  And to look back and see that I did that, too, is just too cute! 

She calls each day and I encourage her to "Nap when the baby sleeps." and say things like, "Catch up on chores later!"  She lives about 15 minutes from here, in traffic (not that I'm counting the minutes or anything like that!).  I know for certain I will see her a couple times a week.  I have done quite well since she moved out.  I thought I would feel like I'd been punched in the stomach... You know that intense emotional pain??  But, I haven't felt like that, and I thank my Heavenly Father.  His mercies are incredible.

And speaking of being thankful... words in my heart just must be spoken... I love my children very much.  And I love my parents.  When I look back at my life from childhood, I am so thankful for a steady dad who has been a faithful man.  He sets a very good example for me... that life isn't about the thrills and certainly not about materialism, but it's about being faithful... doing the everyday things that should be done.  And I am thankful for my step-mom, Linda, who has grown so very much over the years.  I now know myself how hard it is to step-parent and I am proud of her and grateful that she has been part of my life.  And since I am passing thanks around, I must say thanks to my mom, Rita.  She puts a humorous spin on life that is infectious and fun.  There were many lost years, and while neither of us can go back and re-do that, we each enjoy the days that we have now.

So, I love you, children of mine.
And I love you, my parents.
And I love you, God, for blessing me so much.  I cannot imagine walking down this road without God.  Without the blessings that are along rocky paths.  I cannot imagine life without the hope that God gives.

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