One daughter at a time...

My girl at about 10 months.
I am finding it interesting that during Spring Break, I am  finding it harder to write each night. Part of it might be that I don't have my students for inspiration or the drama that seems to unfold each day at school. I just have me and my family and our daily, kind of boring, life.

I have been reading lots of other blogs and reading stories of marriage, relationships, children. Maybe it's time for me to bust out one of those so tonight I am going to talk about one of those relationships that you don't with your daughter.

When I was pregnant, I knew that she was going to be a girl. I picked out a girl's that was a combination of her father's name and mine. To be honest, I first thought of it as a license plate, but then thought it was too cool and it should be a baby name instead. So she got a unique first name and then has a Hawaiian middle name to honor my best friend at the time, as well as her father's best friend (who is Hawaiian).
My girl now!

The pregnancy was a matter of fact I loved being pregnant. It was a powerful feeling knowing I was growing an entire human being. Even thinking of it now, it is pretty impressive. Since my relationship with my own mother had been rocky, I had a combination of feelings...I was concerned (Would I be a good enough mother? Was our relationship destined to be like my mother and I? Would I carry my mother's craziness into this relationship?) and excited.

Well, as it turned out I think I did a pretty good job. She survived her teen years (which I tell you was a challenge), our relationship is much better than my mother and I ever had, and the craziness? Well, I have brought my own special crazy to our life, but luckily I think it has mostly been good crazy, not scary crazy. (Although she may tell you that those "special" dance moves I would do standing in her doorway when her friends were over could qualify as scary crazy, but I hope not!)

I think that I have been lucky. I have a daughter that I can laugh with, hang out with, be close to. When she was growing up we had some time with her father, years that were just the two of us, and years with her Dad...She has grown up into an amazing woman, beyond what I could have ever envisioned. She has far exceeded my expectations!

She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she makes me crazy, my heart breaks for her, she makes me worry. For so long, she was it, the center of my universe. When my husband and I got married, she adjusted and found that she had gotten a great deal...a dad that loved and supported her along with a mom who adored her. (Let me tell you, that adoration came in handy during her teen years...girls are sooooo much harder than boys!)

Not a day goes by that we don't talk, text, or email (at least 3 or 4 times)...she is the other half of the estrogen in this house..she is another part of me. My students panic when they hear her because our voices sound interchangeable, and my co-workers laugh because our mannerisms are almost identical. I just feel lucky that I have gotten to be a part of this remarkable young woman's journey. Some years (yes, I mean years) have been rough (that's a bit of an understatement, but memories fade!), but I know that without those difficult times, she would not be the wise and awe-inspiring woman she has become. Her heart for others is incredible. She is a champion for those whose voices are often not heard.

As I sit back and wait for the summer when we will drive her to her next stop on her adventure (Illinois anyone?), I just am in awe...this incredible young woman, who I am proud to call daughter came from me...I grew her...and that, my friends, is definitely one of the greatest accomplishments I have ever done!


  1. Great job creating, sustaining and growing the miracle of life that is your daughter! It is pretty impressive indeed! And a little math teaching in the middle school on the side? Wow!

  2. What a wonderful post honoring a wonderful young woman! I loved the way you wove the miracle of who she is through real life challenges and the miracle unfolding in her future. Lovely!

  3. This is beautiful! This resonates with me on so many levels, but especially being a daughter myself, and having 5 kids...these are the days I look forward to when we are having those rough-right-now days!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. What a special tribute to your daughter! Sounds like the two of you have a really special relationship! I hope you have showed this to her.

  5. I love this phrase, "I grew her." Three little words but there is so much wrapped up in them. I thought it was a really lovely ending to your wonderful tribute.

  6. Shannon--somehow I missed this one! I love it and I love that you have been able to create the relationship you have with your daughter. Gosh, I'm scared to be a parent, but I can tell you're great.


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