I remember this day 27 years ago. It was a bright and sunny Thursday. We had been anticipating the birth of our first child and her due date had long since passed. Every second day I would walk the half hour to the hospital, have a natal stress test, meet a friend for lunch and then walk home. On those days when I wasn’t going for a stress test, my dog Max and I would walk throughout the city, enjoying the late spring sunshine, stopping to chat with strangers or to visit with a dog we’d meet along our route. Inevitably someone we met would ask, “When are you due?” And I would reply, “Last week. The week before last. 3 weeks ago.
In the end, Alexis Marie slipped into the world 23 days past her original due date. As I lay on an operating table and the doctor cut into my abdomen, I heard her cries from within my womb and my heart melted. I could feel it. That instantaneous giving way of the boundaries that held all known feeling in place. A letting go of all restraint, an abandoning of life as I knew it as this tiny, precious, perfect being was lifted from the safety of my womb and exposed to the world.
I wanted to keep her close. To keep her tied to the umbilical safety of my being the vessel that embraced her every breath.
And I had to let her go. I had to allow the cord to be cut to give her wings room to grow.
They have been growing ever since.
Over the past 27 years I have watched in awe and wonder as this tiny being has expanded into becoming the amazing, beautiful woman she is today. From her first cry to her first smile to her first song, I have borne witness to the magic and miracle of her voice growing stronger. With every breath, every word, every movement, she has taught me about life and love and living fearlessly. Through the gift of her life I have learned to claim my own greatness and celebrate the many exquisite facets of our human condition.
Alexis celebrates her 27th birthday today and as I breathe into this space where grace floods my heart and gratitude fills my every breath, I give thanks for the miracle of her life, the wonder of her Love and the gifts of being her mother.
Happy Birthday Alexis. You make my heart smile.