On This Day Fifteen Years Ago...
My daughter was born. She almost wasn't born - because she simply refused to come out into the world without external prompting. She was born 15, yes, fifteen, days late. When she finally made her exit from my body and entrance into the world, the OB-GYN said that, based on her physical maturity and the pruning of her skin, we had not miscalculated the due date. Kristiana simply didn't didn't want to leave the womb, literally!
These days, Kristiana baffles my mind with her physical maturity, her emotional strength, her unshakable faith, her love of animals and nature, and her unfathomable love and forgiveness for those who hurt her, including her oft thoughtless mother.
One friend of mine, the mother of four daughters, tells them on a regular basis, "I am so glad that when God looked around at all the babies in heaven, He chose you to send to our family." When I ponder the two children that grace my home, I am grateful that God chose me to be their mother; I do not deserve either one of these truly amazing people.
This photo of Kristiana was taken at Misty Meadows, the horse farm where she takes weekly riding lessons and also volunteers to work with children with physical and mental challenges. On this day, I made a mistake on the time of her lesson, and we arrived an hour earlier than we were supposed to. Eager to show us one of the trails on which she sometimes takes the horses, Kristiana led us on a tour. That girl loves that farm, and she spoke of nearly every turn in the path with the same tenderness I might use for a favorite passage in a cherished book.
Just a few paces beyond where the previous photos was taken, I snapped this one.
The road ahead through the remaining teen years may prove uneven, sometimes treacherous, perhaps dangerous. But together we will walk its every twist. Exploring. Wandering. Telling and writing and photographing the stories of our lives. We will weep and laugh, question and respond. We will live the questions and question our living. We will run into things and into each other.
And every day that I am given the chance to love this beautiful girl, I will.
Every day that I am given to teach her, to learn from her, I will.
Every day that she opens her soul to me, I will open mine to her.
On this day fifteen years ago, the trajectory of my life was altered.
Thanks be to God for this daughter of mine, this indescribable gift of Kristiana.