“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare
Today is my daughter’s 18th birthday. My only daughter, the middle child surrounded by brothers. My beautiful baby girl with the most amazing mesmerizing, deep sky blue eyes that reveal her sugary sweet soul. When I look at her, I can’t believe I’ve been a part of making this wonderful human being, so full of goodness, kindness and love – her outside beauty is remarkable, but no match for her inner beauty. And I am lucky enough to call this real life angel my daughter. Mere words cannot express the emotion I feel for this child of mine.
I remember her birth – she was a week past her due date so Dr. McFarland scheduled me to be at the hospital at 7 am to have my labor induced. I was becoming about as wide as I was tall and my small frame isn’t conducive to birthing large babies. All day long we sat in my room waiting for the inducement to work, all to no avail. At 5pm the medical staff had decided that it wasn’t going to work and said that maybe I should just go back home.
My husband had been helping me pace up and down the hallway in hopes that the movement would encourage labor. I was exhausted. I was also huge and miserable. We lived a good 45 minute drive away from the hospital and I definitely didn’t want to take a chance of going back home to accidentally go into labor then. I stopped walking, stood my ground stubbornly, looked back at the staff and said, “No. I am not leaving here until this baby comes out!” Then I waddled slowly back into the room.
Twenty minutes later a nurse entered and was saying something about they might have to give my room to someone else since I hadn’t gone into labor yet. At about that time I began to feel the strange sensation of liquid leaving my body out of my control. “Uhm, either my water just broke or I’m peeing and I can’t stop,” I told the nurse. She checked me and laughed. “Looks like you’ll get to keep this room after all!”
More than 4 hours later (at 9:50pm) my baby girl made her 1st appearance into the world. At 8 lbs. 1oz., she was big and healthy. After the nurses checked her and cleaned her up they handed me my adorable little bundle of joy. Taking her into my arms, I couldn’t help but think whenever I looked at her, “She looks just like she came straight from the Beauty Salon!” Her hair was dark brown all over except for the big blonde curl sitting on top of her head.
Kind of ironic that she is now working towards getting her cosmetology license, heh? The girl was born for beauty. My husband and I stuck to our guns and refused to learn the sex of the baby before birth, but I knew I was going to have a girl because of the dreams I’d been having. Dreams of girl stuff and LOTS of shopping. My pregnancy with Tara had me craving sweet iced tea and Mexican food on a regular basis. Which perhaps wasn’t a good mix because she became colicky after birth and cried for most of the first four months of her life. We tried everything from Doctors advice to Old Wives Tales, but nothing worked to ease her colic. I guess she just outgrew it. Once she stopped crying she started flashing those baby blue eyes at everyone and began melting hearts. There wasn’t a man around who could resist her charm. She had her Daddy wrapped around her little pinkie. She is still a charmer and I laugh at her little brother because he gets angry at his friends who are always asking about his “hot sister.”
Come to think of it, she started practicing her cosmetology skills early by cutting her own hair when she was about three years old. Her hair had grown long and she didn’t like wearing it in barrettes or pony tails. One day she decided it was getting in her way, so she took the scissors from the drawer, went and stood over the trash can looking down, and cut off the offending pieces of hair. I caught her just at the end. “Baby – what are you doing?” I asked, shocked.
She turned to me with a satisfied smile and said, “I fixed my hair Mommy. Now it won’t get in my way anymore!”
She didn’t stop there though. She was spending a weekend with her grandparents when her Daddy received a phone call from his Mom. He was speaking in a serious tone so I became worried and questioned him as soon as he ended the call. Before he could say anything I saw his upper body shaking and burst out laughing. He laughed so hard he couldn’t speak and tears were streaming down his face. When he finally caught a breath, he looked at me and said, “Do you know what Tara did to my Mom’s dog? She cut it’s hair!” He leaned over the counter and started laughing again.
“The Chihuahua? She cut the Chihuahua’s hair?” I asked, disbelief in my voice.
“Yes!” In between spurts of laughter, he said, “Mom said it looks like it has the mange now!” More laughter.
Later, I asked Tara why and wondered out loud how in the world she was able to get the dog to sit still for a hair cut. She said, “Grammy was talking on the phone a long time and I got bored. I took the dog upstairs and just sat down and sang to it, Mama. It didn’t mind me cutting its hair!”
Fifteen years later, she is learning skills in Cosmetology classes and I get her to cut my hair. Times have changed.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for her. My heart warms with joy to be able to spend time with her, being not just a parent, but also a friend, sharing laughter and jokes, shopping or hanging out. She’s my girl. And like I always tell her, “Us girls gotta stick together.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TARA, MY GIRL! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!