Today my youngest daughter turned 18. Yes, she was born on April Fools Day, and yes it was my “due” date too – so no fooling me when she finally decided it was time.
This got me looking at baby photos, and that got me thinking about how the love I had for both my daughters when they were little feels totally different from the love that I have for them now. It’s almost like they are completely different daughters, and in a way I guess they are. Then I could not imagine how they would grow, who they would be when they reached adulthood, and now I cannot get my head around the fact that they started out so small.
Don’t mistake me – I love them both, fiercely, intensely, proudly, and without limitations, at whatever age they are – I just can’t seem to make the two, memories and current reality, connect as one whole people in my mind.
I never had a “picture” of who my girls would be when they grew up, I was just content to go through the days with them, being the best parent I could be (and there were some days when I know that I fell short of that goal). Like all parents I hoped that they would grow up happy, safe, know that they were loved, and able to love in return, without too much sadness in their lives. Although there have been sad times, the illness and death of their father at a young age, and a few other small hiccups, we have come through with a strong bond, the ability to be silly and laugh and an unending store of hugs and love.
Still, there is a small part of me that wishes those earlier daughters could still be as they were, and mourns their loss. The rest of me rejoices in the chance to share my life with my daughters now.
There are times I despair of ever understanding how my emotions work.