Thursday

Fourteen Today

It was about noon on a bitterly cold Sunday. I remember standing at the sink, spotless except for the one glass I had been drinking out of. Troy went through the nesting phase, but I never did. The periodic pain in my belly and back were telling me that this rolling and active little girl was ready to make an appearance, but I wasn't ready. My feet were rooted to the floor of the kitchen, but Troy stood with the back door open, holding my bag, waving me out.

One tear rolled down my cheek, entirely too small to hold all the fear it carried. Yes, I was scared of what it would take to bring this child into the world, but I was scared of what to do with her once she got here.

Ashley is so different from me that it has been frustrating at times, but I've learned along with her. She was the child leading the way among the crowds at church, friends with young and old, all colors, but not desiring the spotlight at all. She cried any time anyone sang "Happy Birthday" to her (and for a while, cried any time any one sang "Happy Birthday" at all, for fear that they were singing it to her) and wouldn't sing in her pre-school program -- rather, cried. When she wanted to claim her Lord in baptism, she was ready, ready, READY -- but wanted NO ONE around.

She has a gift of compassion and love I envy. She wants to help everyone, she hurts to see anyone hurt. She is gentle and kind -- but DO NOT get in her way on the basketball court! She becomes a fierce competitor there and has no tolerance for teammates that don't work hard and carry their own weight.

She has been a gift from the Lord and the most gracious gift a new mother could have been given: a forgiving, loving blessing that turned into a lovely, precious young lady despite the many mistakes and flaws of her mother. I am so thankful for my Ashley and pray many blessings on her today, her fourteenth birthday!

9 comments:

Paula Harrington said...

How sweet! Happy Birthday to your baby girl.

dad said...

For all my life I will remember that she was about 2 or 3 days old before I could hold her and look into her tiny face without crying. She has been such a blessing to our family! I simply cannot believe she's 14. So many wonderful memories.

Scott F said...

Happy Birthday to Ashley! I will always remember her birthday since she and Alyssa share it. How special is that being they were so much in each others' lives before we moved.

Tiffany said...

THank you for sharing your Ashley with me. You described her to a T!

mstirman said...

Ashley was the apple of her MiMi's eye and is equally loved and adored by her Papa. If birthdays can be great, I hope you have one today. I love you.

Roxanne said...

Happy Birthday, dear Ashley. I came and held you and helped get you dressed for your first trip to church. Then I cried when I had to leave. You don't remember--but I always will.

ChristyCate said...

I think I just saw Ashley roll her eyes and yet I know her heart is smiling. Happy birthday, Ashley!

Anonymous said...

Great blog, or birthday essay. Thanks. Congrats to both of you. Bill K.

Antique Mommy said...

"One tear rolled down my cheek, entirely too small to hold all the fear it carried."

I love that line - powerful, lovely and gets to the very marrow of motherhood.

 
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