Monday. I slowly rolled to my side, forcing myself to get out of bed. A busy day lay in store and the runway was getting shorter. I had to get an early start and maximize the hours.
Lethargically I went through the mechanics of the morning routine…teeth, shower, make up, hair…but nothing was normal or easy. I looked and felt…blah. I had trouble breathing and moved in slow motion. I was disgusted by my clothes. And then, the final straw….I couldn’t fit into my shoes!
I sat on the edge of the bed holding back tears and shaking my head in disbelief. How did my feet become so swollen over the weekend that suddenly none of my pumps fit?!? What was I going to wear to work? With no time to feel sorry for myself, I slipped on a pair of flip-flops and headed for Target. It was the only store nearby that opened early enough to buy a new pair of shoes before work.
I didn’t know how I was going to make it through two more weeks of carrying this baby. Being pregnant in July wasn’t fun.
I didn’t feel this way last time….
That pregnancy changed me. My shoe size never went back to an eight-and-a-half. My jeans from college never again fit over my now-permanently widened hips. My size six dresses were given away. My natural red highlights disappeared. And I entered a new decade.
Nothing was the same…nor would it ever be again…because of that little girl.
My baby is turning twenty-seven on Sunday. As I mentally replay the scenes and phases of her life, I marvel at how she’s changed. Gone are the hints of childhood fears and insecurities. Gone is the overwhelming desire to please others at her own expense. Gone are the naive illusions about friends or figures of authority. Gone is the gullibility that concerned me so.
Today she is a capable and grounded woman. She has a good head on her shoulders — using solid judgement with regard to people, places and things. She’s cautious, yet adventuresome; conservative, yet daring. She knows how to plan, but — more importantly — can implement. She has real relationships that are worth having….with her brother and sister-by-marriage, family, colleagues, friends, and one special guy. I couldn’t be more proud.
Yes, this girl changed me. My heart, my integrity, my drive, and my openness evolved so I could be the role model, teacher, and parent she needed. It all was for her, though I certainly benefited.
Do I ever want to go back to the old me? Only if I still can be Jessie’s mom.