On Their Birthday–Thankful for my Daughters

“To have a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

–Elizabeth Stone

Today is a special day for me. On this day in 1987 and 1993 my two daughters were born. Yes, the same day—six years apart. I am so thankful for my girls. They are truly gifts from God.

Both girls have their own gifts and talents, and it’s been fun to watch them grow and bloom. They are good writers, have considerable athletic skills, are socially progressive and are champions of the underdog. They are becoming strong, creative, and amazing women.

Has every day been a cake walk? Of course not! Anyone who has children or works with them knows that there are heartaches, tears, and frustrations along the way. There are days I wanted to throw up my hands and crawl into a box, and there are days I wished they would crawl into a box and reemerge as fully functional well-adjusted adults. Ah, but life doesn’t work that way; it’s a process, a journey, and each step bears the weight of meaning.

I recall many anxious minutes waiting for them to come home so I could at long last go to sleep, and I remember the pain of holding their hearts and wiping their tears through hurts and disappointments. I also know the delight of celebrating their successes and joys. Mom’s taxi logged many miles and hours carting them to athletic competitions, dance and gymnastic lessons, school concerts, plays, and friends’ houses. Parenting is a hands-on, 24/7 job.

This day is a little bit bittersweet, too. My youngest is now 18 and preparing to launch into the “real world” of college, career, and beyond. My oldest is halfway around the world, so I won’t get to give her a hug today. Even as I celebrate their special day, I do so with a few heart pangs. Tonight, when we gathered around the dinner table to eat and celebrate, we set an extra place for Elspeth knowing that we are with each other in spirit; no amount of distance can dampen that fact.

Happy birthday, girls! You are so special to me, and I love you with all my heart. I give God thanks for you every day.


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