I have this tradition, that I had never even intended on creating but that I find myself doing every single year… where I kind of stop what I’m doing and reminisce about the night that I lay in the hospital, lights off, windows open, taking in the unbelievable view of Manhattan, waiting for what was to come. Waiting for the next day and what would be the birth of my sweet child. My Madeline Cynthia.
That night, the last night of my life as a single person, burns so brightly in my memory; perhaps the most romantic & loveliest memory that I can conjure up from my life before Madeline. Just the other night I was having a conversation with Michael about three things that happen in our lives, where we can remember where we were, what we were doing, and what we were thinking… and although at the time we were talking about the three things in reference to three historical events, I realized that there really isn’t much that I remember in life, that I feel affected me beyond my true self, or that moved me outside of my own day-to-day memories… And then I realized that more importantly, there are these memories, these small events, these times in my life that no matter what I do or what has happened, I can always turn to them when I need to remember who I am and from where I have come. If they are three things that I can take with me, three things that I have to remember above anything else, three things that I know happened and that physically & mentally moved me from one realm of my being to another, then they would be:
Madeline in my tummy, on a warm spring afternoon in New York, where I found happiness in spite of myself.
Madeline waiting to be out of me, on an abnormally still night in a hospital, where I found depth in something completely beyond myself.
Madeline, outside of me, eyes on me… always eyes on me… smiling. My Madeline, always always smiling.
I’m coming to realize that, as she turns fourteen, I have lived my entire adult life as Madeline’s mother… there are no other memories beyond my memories of her, that move me or shape me like that simple proclamation. I am Madeline’s, and she is mine.
Happy Birthday, my baby girl… how I got so lucky, I will never ever know…