It’s the first week of April. That means my daughter’s birthday is coming up and my daughter A is inching up the age bracket. I won’t tell you her exact age (she wouldn’t want me to). I’ll just tell you that she is twenty-something – somewhere between 25 and 30 years old.
It’s been more than a quarter of a century since A came into my life. I was just about the age she is turning this week when I became pregnant for the first time. I was so excited when she popped out of my belly. “It’s a girl,” said the obstetrician. “You have a daughter.” I was scared too. I became a mom and at times I felt like a child myself. How was I going to take care of a baby girl? (Separately, why don’t babies come with a set of instructions on how to be cared for? Huh? Wish someone would figure out how to do this by now and tweet it out to the world! It would make parenting a whole lot easier.) Would I be able to pass on the family values that my mom (and dad) had passed on to me? Would A and I have the same close bond that my mom and I had from childhood through adulthood?
Looking at the woman A has become, I think I did a pretty good job. (Okay, okay, I must give a huge amount of credit to her dad too. My late husband M was a great dad. He would be so proud of his daughter.) She is a fashionista like me and like her late grandmother P . She is smart and has traveled the world, much more so than I did at her age. She lives in the big city, NYC, just like I did when I was twenty-something. She is on the path to a successful career. I know she will be a CFO one day. Yes she will. She will pursue her aspirations and dreams.
And hopefully one day, yes hopefully one day, she will give birth to a daughter just like I gave birth to her. (Of course, she has time to have a daughter – I am much too young to be a grandma or nana or mom mom yet. Much too young.)
I didn’t know what to get A for her birthday. I’m taking her and her brother D to France next month to celebrate my retirement from my 30+ years of corporate life. That’s her (and D’s) BIG birthday gift this year. However, being the mom that I am, I wanted to get something small, something tiny but special, to celebrate A’s birthday this week.
As I walked into Whole Foods tonight, I found the perfect gift. It is a book. A book by an author who I never read before. The author is named Marci and the book is called “To My Daughter – Love and Encouragement to Carry With You On Your Journey Through Life.” Marci looks to be a boomer girl like me and her company is called Children of The Inner Light.
I stood at the table at the back of the store and read the entire book before I bought it. Just like the book jacket says, “This book has all the right amount of magic and emotion to let your daughter know the unconditional love you feel for her. It is everything you’ve ever wanted to say to your daughter in a way that will touch her heart as much as she has touched yours.” Marci’s words are so eloquent and her stick figures that accompany the words so cute.
Each paragraph was better than the next. My favorite paragraph was titled “I Just Have One Question…Where Did The Time Go?” It is exactly how I am feeling about my daughter A as she approaches her next birthday and as I look back on her life during my life after 50. Here’s Marci’s answer:
“Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were a baby in my arms? I looked at your precious face and wondered where life would take you. Today, I look at the person you’ve become…strong, kind, thoughtful, caring, and optimistic, and I realize that the dreams I held in my heart for you are alive in your beautiful spirit.”
Happy Birthday A! Happy Birthday To You! I hope you read this book cover to cover just like I did tonight. A daughter is truly a precious gift. Cherish all the words, one page is better than the next.
P.S. – Congrats to Nancy McMahon on winning the March raffle prize of the “Reader’s Digest The Digest Diet.” The book is coming your way soon. I’ll be reaching out to you via email. Thanks for your comment on the blog post: Staying Fit and Fabulous After 50.
P.S.S. – Be sure to read the press on JudiBoomergirl’s blog featured this week in Harvard Business Review at HBR Blog. Read all the great news about the power of boomer girls. We are a strong and vibrant group of women.
This is one of my favorite posts ever. Having had the chance to see the relationship you share with A in the “offline” world, I know it is truly special. More like one you read about in books but is rare in real life. Your life resume would have A (and D) as your top accomplishments! Happy Birthday A!
Thanks Ronni. A and D and I do have a special bond.