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Me and Michaela, April 2012

A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend.  ~Author Unknown

I just spent an awesome weekend with my adult daughter. Along with other activities we did some reminiscing and this has prompted me to post, in part, the letter I wrote her on her 18th Birthday.

Happy Birthday Michaela! Wow – 18 years old! It feels like just yesterday you were born.

I knew you were a girl when I was 5 months pregnant (that’s when I began to talk to you by name) Michaela — in honour of my brother Michael and as you know, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Desiree – meaning much wanted child.

I don’t remember how I got to the hospital but I was so grateful that my friend Sue was there. (I was with Sue when her daughter, Janna was born). Along with my most excellent doctor, Sue was my rock. Well they rigged me up with all sorts of monitors to follow my progress and I remember nurses asking regarding my contractions, “Wow that was a big one, didn’t you feel it?” And I was like “huh?” Well, ok, I did feel the last 15 minutes!!! I thought for sure that I would scream and curse but I didn’t. You were born Wednesday, November 24, 1993 at 5:55pm. The minute they put you in my arms I loved you more than I had ever loved anyone or anything before. The first night we came home, Adele spent the night with me. I was too afraid to be alone with you. Then Helga came for two weeks to help out. (Michaela, never take your female friends for granted, they are such a blessing)

The first couple of weeks you slept in a laundry basket!

Oma came to visit when you were 6 weeks old. (she gave you your first bath in the tub! Up until then I only sponge bathed you – I was too afraid to put you in a tub) Uncle Mike came to visit when you were 11 weeks old. He was such a proud uncle!

And you had so many ear infections, fevers and were forever on antibiotics (thankfully you had tubes put in your ears when you were 18 months old.

You started walking at 9 ½ months and you were quite a pro by 10 ½ months.

You accidentally knocked over building blocks at church when you were 13 months old and said ‘S*it’ “Why is she saying sit?” asked the Pastor. Yeah SIT, we’ll go with that. “I dunno,” I shrugged.

You were quite proficient at speaking by 18 months.

You decided that you wanted to be toilet trained at 22 months. You were a big girl now and only wore Pull Ups at night.

I registered you for Kindergarten when you were 4 and NOT 5 because you were driving me crazy with questions!

Grade 4 you looked me up and down and rolling your eyes you asked, “Is that what you’re wearing for the parent/teacher interviews?”

When you were 10, you plopped yourself into my car, looked around with disgust and said to me, “I guess when you die, I inherit this heap?”

In grade 6, you stole the laundry money and some canned food so you could run away! I was so worried calling all your friends, driving around looking for you!

I remember, with great pride, when you used your allowance to buy MacDonald’s for a homeless man and all the years you volunteered with me on Christmas morning to feed breakfast to Mustard Seed guests.

There were the birthday parties, Halloweens, Christmases, the fights over cleaning your room, brushing your teeth, taking a bath, the wisdom of not saving homework till the 11th hour arguments, etc. Oh what a stubborn girl, what a fighter – where’d you get that from anyway!? 😉

Now look at you. No longer a little girl but a young woman with a beautiful and gentle heart one moment and a fiery and passionate spirit the next. Michaela, you’re a bright and beautiful human being with a world of potential. My prayer and hope for you is that you live your life with passion, that you relentlessly go after your dreams and that you positively impact your world and those you choose to surround yourself with. I am sure you will. You are strong. You’re a survivor. You will do great things.

With love, Mom