Sunday, November 2, 2008

Twenty-four Years of Harmony

Today is my daughter's 24th birthday. As a parent I can tell you that the milestone is as much mine as it is hers. I can't help but flash back to the hours and moments leading up to her birth. I was a young mother of 24, filled with hope and anticipation for the future, harbouring a secret fear that I wouldn't love my second baby quite as much as my first. How could I? With my first child my heart had filled - with complete and utter unconditional love - to overflowing. I wondered if my heart was capable of expanding...

My mother (who had 4 children of her own) reassured me once I timidly confessed my worries. She told me that she had also had the same concerns with every new addition but that nature was wonderful that way ... that my capacity for love would grow, accommodate and surpass my wildest expectations. She was right.

I had reserves from the deepest part of my being that I never knew existed. From the first moment my Harmony burst forward into this world, I was overcome with a tsunami of emotion. Every minute milestone - the smile, giggle, roll over, kiss, and so on - was celebrated and applauded as if we were first time parents. Her personality was decidedly different than her sister's and gave us new fuel for fodder.

Today Harmony has lived up to her name; she is a unique, artful independent woman whose easy-going demeanor is not unlike the grease between squeaky wheels in our family. It's been several years since she has occupied the private basement bedroom painted the colour of the sun ... and I miss her every day. Tomorrow she is moving into an apartment with the love of her life -- a new milestone.

Milestones are the markers of our lives. Today I toast one of my most precious treasures and her milestones. Here's to a lifetime of Harmony!

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