For nine delicious months,
I was your home.
At first, I hardly even knew you were there
save for the seven (yes seven)
positive tests lined up on our bathroom counter.
and the months of relentless fatigue
which made me feel
like such a lightweight.
It was only later I found out the
fatigue was my body working diligently
to prepare your home.
(I think I learned this on Oprah.)
I loved being pregnant.
I loved every single moment of it.
I grinned. I glowed.
I had complete confidence
in my ability to care for you.
In loaning my belly to you,
I found such purpose.
Month over month
your body grew within mine.
Secretly, I felt smug about this.
I had the privilege of knowing you
in a way no one else ever would.
I had the privilege of knowing you first.
Many others would come into your life later,
but I got the first nine months.
Knowing you as I do today,
your birth was pure you.
You took your time.
Forty-two hours of labor,
four hours of pushing,
and, reluctantly, you came into the world.
The life-sustaining cord that connected us
was ironically wrapped around your little neck.
You were purple, limp,
and the birthing room seemed
to move in slow and silent motion
in spite of the flurry of activity
by those working to save you.
In cutting the cord, we were separated
and your life began.
Eighteen years have passed and
I see the woman you have become.
Young, but a woman all the same.
She is strong, sure of herself,
and every bit as resistant
to changes in her environment
as she was at birth.
I still feel smug that I knew her first.
This woman, my daughter, is leaving home
to seek out her own life.
Although I know she is ready
and has everything she needs within her,
tears come so easily these days.
My heart is heavy with the knowledge
I won’t tuck her in every night.
I won’t see her grumpy-cat face each morning.
I won’t make big breakfasts for her friends
who have flocked to our home for years.
I want to hold you forever,
but this is not how it works.
You have the roots of your home,
your family, your friends, and your own heart.
You have the wings of your confidence,
your tenacity, your creativity, and your vision.
You have roots and wings, my darling daughter
and with these, you will fly high but know
you may always return to the touchstone of your home
when you need it.
You are ready.
The cord is being severed once again
and in cutting the cord, we will be separated
so a new chapter of your life can begin.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Mk Michaels
Editor: Renée Picard