Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Kissed Her...

and with my voice cracking...

tears threatening to overflow...

I told her I loved her...

and I turned and walked away.

She's only 13.

And this is the first time since my Daddy died and I had to leave them in a NICU in Baltimore to fly home to TN...

that I've went more than 24 hours without seeing her...

hugging her...

smelling the scent that is all her own...

being able to kiss her.

She's my baby.

Where has time went?
1 day old


Wasn't it just yesterday that she was the little 1 pound fighter that literally fit into the palm of my hand?

Wasn't it just yesterday that I burst into tears the first time I saw her under the bili lights and no diaper...

and how I was terrified because she didn't have a hiney and I thought she would be deformed for the rest of her life.

Wasn't it just yesterday the nurse rushed over...

concern and worry written on her face...

as I stammered out why I was in tears...

"S-s-she has no hiney!"

She gently laughed and explained that weight is gained from the head down...

and as she grew...

it would too.

Did you know that?

Because I never did.

Dad is from Michigan.  Only someone from Michigan would dare to dress their children in Lions clothes.

Wasn't it just yesterday she wanted Frosted Mini Wheats at Sam's...

how she declared in her tiny voice...

"But they my favorite!"

So we bought them...

small boxes...

but in bulk size...

and as soon as we were in the car and she asked for a box...

I opened it...handed it to her...

where she then proceeded to take a bite...

then sat there.

And closing the box said...

"Mmmmm...

I think I save these for later".

They were still in the pantry a year later when I finally threw them out.

Wasn't it just yesterday that she believed cereal could dance and talk?

They did on the commercials.

10 months


Wasn't it just yesterday she hoped...

oh...how she hoped...

the Easter bunny would bring her Peeps.

And when I reminded her she didn't like marshmallows...

she declared that...

"No...they my favorite".

Wasn't it just yesterday that Easter morning arrived and she rushed in to find those wished for Peeps in her basket....

tore them open...

took a bite...

then set the rest of it back into the box and announced...

"Mmmmmm...

I think I save these for later".

It was the Frosted Mini Wheats all over again....

she still believed they would dance.

They did on the commercials.

14 months

Wasn't it just yesterday she would wake and pull her little chair in front of the tv and with her stuffed Po and La La would sit...

unmoving...

eyes glued to the tv...

for an entire 25 minutes while she watched the Teletubbies.

She taught herself to count by watching them.

And by the time she was 15 months...

she was counting to 20 in English...

10 in German and Spanish.
Our family portrait...2000.

Wasn't it just yesterday she loved Mercer Meyer's Little Critter books...

how she made us read them over and over and over...

until she had them memorized.

And then...

she taught herself to read by matching the words in her memory...

to the words on the page.

We didn't realize when she announced she was "reading" to Hunter one night and over the monitor she called out...

that when I went in to check and she asked what a word was...

that it wasn't one of her "memorized" books...

but instead one we rarely read...

and she was reading.

She was 3.
Pre-K...2001


Wasn't it just yesterday we discovered we were expecting Robert...

and how when we sat her down and explained that we would be having a new baby...

how she jumped up...

clapped her hands together and with the excitement of a child on Christmas Eve said...

"Oh...I hope it's a brother!

I wished upon a star for a brother!"

Then when the day came and we knew it was indeed going to be a brother...

I don't know who yelled louder when the technician announced...

"It's a boy!"...

love-of-my-life-man-that-I-married...

or her.

Then she spoke and said...

"I knew it was a brother!

I wished upon a star for a brother and God is giving me my wish."

She paused...

then...

"I wonder when he's going to give me my other wishes?"



I will always remember...

these moments...

all the moments that have happened over the last 13 years...

as though my life didn't start until then.

And I can't remember what I did...

how I lived...

before them.

As though from the moment of their birth...

as they drew their first breath...

I too breathed for the very first time.

I started living.



I kissed her.

And with my voice cracking...

tears threatening to overflow... 

told her I loved her...

I turned and walked away.

She's only 13.

It's only a week...

and it'll be good for her.

A chance to test the wings that I have spent her entire life trying to give her the courage and confidence she will someday need to use them...

to fly...

to soar...

to discover and live her life...

but I want to take it all back.

Not because I don't want her to soar...

I want her to spread her wings and fly high...

there just hasn't been enough time.

I just want to do it all over again.



She's been living the college life for the past week...

a Summer program for gifted children...

and she's been having a great time.

Wants to go to college at Vanderbilt now.

The food is great...

the chocolate cake is "to die for"...

she ate 3 pieces the first night.

She's breaking my heart.

But I'm going to pick her up...

to bring her home...

only I know she won't quite be the little girl that I left a week ago.

She will have grown...

matured...

opened her eyes to the world that awaits...

to the skies that will allow her dreams to soar.

And the world may never know that little girl who believed in talking cereal...

dancing marshmallow bunnies...

or that wishes made upon a star come true...

but I will always see her.

I just hope she always remembers her too.

6 comments :

  1. Loved this. So nice to see Haley's story and some wonderful pictures too.

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  2. Oh, Renee. I've missed your posts. What a beautiful story. All of us moms can totally relate. We give birth to these helpless creatures, and then spend the next 18 or more years teaching them how to succeed without us. It is scary, but you are doing a great job, and I'm sure Haley had a great time at camp. The fact that she can leave you for a week is a testament to the good job you are doing. Now, I need a kleenex.

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  3. I'm all teary... you've gone and whipped up all my nursing hormones :) What a sweet story of your daughter growing up. I hope she enjoys her week!

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  4. Oh, goodness. My littles are only 6 and 4, but I know it will be "tomorrow" that they are 13 and going to camp. I'll come back to this post to look for encouragement and assurance that everything will be ok.

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  5. What a sweet, sweet post! The photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing some special moments in Haley's life. Hope camp is fun! She'll have so much to share with you when she is home.

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  6. Oh Renee, what a sweet post. My 'baby' turned 8 a short time ago and that was hard enough. I am NOT looking forward to the first time she heads off for summer camp. What a wonderful tribute to your daughter.

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Thanks for stopping by...
I love all your sweet comments...
they mean so much to me!

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