The Power of Whoa!
My daughter turns ten tomorrow. In her honor, I wrote this essay for my parenting newsletter. If you are a parent, or know one, you might want to have a read. Time flies when you’re young and fun…
by Christine Louise Hohlbaum
There is nothing like remembering your daughter’s tenth birthday to hurl you out of bed at the crack of dawn.
“I forgot to make her cake for school!” I chastised myself as I padded down the stairs. My husband, whose eyes hadn’t quite thought of opening yet, mumbled something about time and the power of slow and all the things I’d been telling him about how life can be beautiful when you slow down to smell the roses.
That’s all fine and dandy, I thought, except when you’ve got a cake to make for your daughter’s first double-digit birthday.
Within three minutes, I had the thing baking in the oven. My daughter groggily entered the kitchen. Wiping the counter, I acted as if I had the whole thing planned.
“I’ll bring the cake during recess, okay Baby?” I smiled with a dash of uncertainty whether my über-smart daughter had noticed I nearly forgot about my promise. She protested about her nickname, something I simply couldn’t stop calling her despite her repeated warnings.
She silently ate her breakfast, then got ready for school. After saying good-bye to our early riser son, Jackson, I turned my attention back to my daughter who had managed to get dressed without her customary tween drama.
“I have something to show you…” I said mysteriously. Her eyes lit up in anticipation of an early birthday gift. I rummaged around a box in the basement, then came back up the stairs.
“Close your eyes,” I whispered. She held them tightly, then giggled with anticipation. I pressed the photo frame into her hands.
“This is who you were shortly after you came to me,” I said. Fighting back a tear, I bravely showed her a picture of her seven-month-old self hugging my head tightly during a day at the park in Boston. Her eyes widened. She had never seen the picture before.
She squeezed me more tightly than usual, then pranced out the door with an affectionate grin.
You will always be my Baby, I thought as I tearfully waved her adieu. She’s a double digit girl now, and I cannot help but feel the painful ebb of her essence’s departure from me as she flows into the self she will become.