March 1st marks a milestone for my husband and me. Twenty-five years ago today we left our graduate student apartment a couple and came back three days later a family. Mariah Elizabeth, hardly bigger than a loaf of bread and yet an entire human being. We were terrified, amazed the hospital just handed her over and waved bye. My mother was waiting at the apartment. And our friends Cathy and John. After a few days my mother left and the four of us just sat around staring at her, none of us really knowing what to do.
As it turned out, Mariah raised us as much as we raised her. Five more kids were born to me, Carl, Cathy and John. All five of them should call her up today and thank her for taking our first fails. She was ever so patient with us. The time we let her fall off the changing table at church. The time I sat the iron on the floor and she burned her fingers. The time I forgot her at Girl Scouts.
The time I forgot her at Target. The many times I put her in charge of the babies then fussed at her later for being so bossy. The time I had a different kid at the doctor and he said, “What’s behind that Band-Aid, Mariah? Can I see?” Then turned to me and said, “Hmm, Mom, that needs to be stitched.” All the times she had to remind us to feed her.
We can hardly take any credit since she mostly raised herself. She’s been figuring things out by herself for twenty-five years and we’ve had the joy of watching. She’s all grown up, married, working and taking care of business much like she always has. So Happy Birthday, Mariah Elizabeth! Thanks for the best first twenty-five years any parents ever had!”
~peace & prayers,