My oldest daughter, Emma Joy, turns 21 today. Yes, Halloween. I can still picture her, just placed in my arms, with her hospital-donned hat; it was tied with two bows: one strand of black yarn and one strand of orange.
So many things have changed since that all- night of labor and blessed morning delivery; so many experiences, emotions, stories, “life,” that have made her into the miraculous, amazing, and powerful-and- tender presence and person that is her. The baby. The girl. The teenager. The college student. The young woman.
But this has not changed: I am as taken and overwhelmed by her now as I was 21 years ago; as grateful and humbled and thrilled and yes, as teary and emotional.
I will pour myself a glass of champagne today.
And though the two of us are not together, I will toast her – knowing (and thrilled) that she is enjoying toasts of her own, on her own, with friends who see her for the miraculous and amazing and powerful-and-tender woman she is, friends who love her deeply.
In a few days, I will drive to her college town. We will raise a glass together – her now of legal drinking age, me picking up the tab.
I find this hard to believe, hard to imagine: how could this day possibly be here? But then, that’s exactly what I felt the day I found out I was pregnant…after years of infertility and disappointment.
It is appropriate and right to not wait until Champagne Friday or our across-the-table presence from one another, to offer this toast; personalized and perfect for my now-grown girl:
You have done enough, Emma Joy. You have listened enough. You have said enough. You have cared enough. You have created enough. You have given enough. You have stood for enough. You have loved enough.
You ARE ENOUGH! Always and in every way.
And every bit of this was true the moment my eyes met yours, 21 years ago.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl. Oh, how I love you.