Over six years ago, the thought of being blessed with a daughter was thought to be almost impossible by one side of the family, and turned out to be inevitable for the other side.
In my husband's family, a girl hadn't been born into the family in 109 years. That is, until my niece came along. My sister-in-law didn't believe the ultrasound and continued to buy boy clothes.
The ultrasound was right!
Then, it was right again for my second niece!
And it was right, yet again, for my Cupie!
On my side of the family. . . Well, that's another story.
My dad was blessed with two daughters - me & Sissy. When he remarried, he married a woman with two daughters - fairly close in age to Sissy & I.
I have two daughters.
Sissy has two daughters.
My youngest step-sister has two daughters.
And finally, my other step-sister has a daughter with one more is on the way.
By the time baby number eight arrives, the oldest three won't quite be six years old yet.
Dad has no hope for a grandson - we're all done.
All children are blessings. And such a HUGE responsibility.
I remember thinking, as we left the hospital with Cupie, "I can't believe they are letting us leave with this little baby girl. What are they thinking? How can they possibly know we're going to be able to handle this?"
They didn't know and they let us leave anyway.
Yes, I was pooped on. She was only a couple of weeks old and she pooped all over me during a diaper change. I started squealing for help, but my own father just sat there and laughed at me. I guess that's the official initiation into parenthood (as if the birth thing weren't enough). You get pooped, peed or puked on.
She cracked her skull open on a fireplace mantle and needed stitches at 11 months. Fortunately, her brains didn't fall out. It was a small cut after all.
She endured the entrance of her little sister into this world. She cried when, right as we were leaving the hospital, the nurses had to take Stinkles for a hearing test. She cried, "My sister, my sister, my sister . . ." She thought the nurses were taking her away permanently.
I lived through trying to sell a house while living in said house with two small children. Cupie was up rooted from the only home she'd ever known, and taken to a new daycare filled with strangers. Just as everyone said, kids are flexible and Cupie shined as her personality captured the hearts of all who met her - to this day, she has no shortage of friends.
She's lost a tooth, learned to read, taken at least one bike ride sans training wheels.
Now, it's time for another milestone and the greatest challenge thus far - she's entering kindergarten. Perhaps the challenge is more for me than it is for her. She's happy and excited. I'm excited and sad. My baby is growing up, and like the nurses who trusted us to leave the hospital embracing all the responsibility that came with a baby, I have to trust that I've given Cupie the tools she needs to embrace being responsible for herself.
It's just so hard.
Where did the time go?
It just slipped right through my fingers . . .
Click below to watch Cupie's journey from that first ride home to the first ride on the school bus. It's only a couple of minutes. There is music so have your speakers on if you want to hear it.
- This is just one more step before she walks out of our house and into a life of her own. It's so hard to remember that one of our jobs as parents is to raise our children into self-sufficient, responsible adults.
- I have thousands of memories leading up to this day, and I know there are thousands more to come. Memories are a treasure I hold onto tightly and pray will never be taken from me.
- I'm not alone. Across the country thousands of "babies" are getting on the school bus for the first time and thousands of mommies are wiping a tear from her face as she presses on with the day.
- No matter how big she gets, she will always be my baby.