40 years later, still in love

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The weather was warm 40 years ago. I remember because I was ready for it to get cool. I was only 19-years-old, still a young person even though I was married.

Of course, I thought I was grown and didn’t know what I didn’t know. My life was about to change, and again I thought I knew what was coming and felt sure I was prepared. I didn’t and I wasn’t.

I woke that fall morning with a desire to get things done, a burst of energy took hold of me and I had to move. The rest of the day was a whirl of activity, filled with cleaning, arranging, and getting my house in order.

By evening, the house was neat and I was beat. I fell into bed, struggled to find a comfortable position and then I drifted into a deep sleep, feeling so good about all I’d accomplished.

Early the next morning as the sun rose, I woke up. The burst of energy from yesterday was gone and in its place was this anxious feeling. I lay still for a few minutes feeling the warmth of the bed, watching the softness of the sun peeping through the curtains.

Finally, I swung my feet to the floor and stood up. I felt the pressure of a dam breaking. Looking down at the floor, I saw a puddle growing under my feet and for a moment a wave of panic rose in my chest.

“It’s time,” I whispered.

The rest of the morning passed in a blur of nurses moving in and out of my room, and of the doctor’s voice telling me to relax.

Finally, after lunch it happened, the thing I’d dreamed about since I was a little girl playing with dolls. It was the moment I waited for all those months. With a great cry, my first child entered the world and I cried with joy at the sound of her voice.

Later as I held her tiny body and looked into her amazing blue eyes, I fell head over heels in love. Never had I experienced such a feeling for another person. It was beautiful and at the same time scary.

As I watched her sleep, I thought about what lay ahead for both of us. It was now my job to get this little human from baby to independent adult. The weight of that responsibility felt heavy and I realized in that instant that I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I knew just hours before.

A few days later, I stepped into a sunny and cool morning. The temperature finally matched the golden look of the autumn day and I held my new baby daughter tightly against my body, pulling the blanket around her head to shelter her eyes from the bright sun.

She blinked up at me and wrapped her finger around mine. I smiled and walked through the hospital doors into my new life as someone’s mother.

Forty years. Hard to believe it’s been 40 years since I held the new life that forever changed my life. Now Charity, my first-born, is a mother herself and about to celebrate her 40th birthday.

So many things happened in the years since that October day. Life took us both through changes as we grew together from child to adult.

However, one thing never changed. When I look into my oldest daughter’s amazing blue eyes, I am as in love with this person as I was the day she entered my life.