The child who was always prone to accidents will be accepting her college diploma next weekend. The little girl who logged more time in the ER than the docs on the show of the same name will be launching herself into orbit in 5 days.
I'm just not prepared to face the inevitable. My Baby is a Grown-Up now.
We knew she was special from the get-go. 3 weeks late; 12+ plus hours of labor; 3 hours of pushing, and she came out looking at the ceiling. Sunnyside Up, they said. The doctors cautioned she'd never make it all the way out the womb alive, & rushed us in for an emergency C-section.
Guess you could say she was pointed toward the horizon from the very beginning of her young life.
She'd had 3 operations by her 2nd birthday. Hernia, plus 2 trips in for ear tubes. She suffered colic, whooping cough and enough ear infections to keep us up 24/7 for a month. She was mauled by a dog on her 1st Thanksgiving.
The ER physician on that trip in said, "By the time she's old enough to care, she won't have a reminder anymore." Well, she's still got a tiny little upside-down "V" on the side of her upper lip.
When we moved to the 'Burbs, we settled in to what we thought would be a mellow life. On a visit to a friend's house down the street, however, an 8-year-old boy drove his new golf club into my 7-year-old chica's jaw.
"It was an accident," the little boy said. A "green stem fracture," the ER doc called it. She drank milkshakes for 6 weeks & the jaw healed on its own.
10 years later she & that little boy worked together at the pool. No one mentioned the golf club or the jaw. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who still dwells on it.
For all the complications of her early childhood, however, Ella Numera Una grew up to be fearless. She swam the entire Summer of the Broken Jaw. She later joined a basketball team, and competed against girls twice her size.
She usually got the best of them, too.
I remember every fall, every scar, every trauma-for her & for me. I know that I have to let go now. But when she accepts her diploma on Sunday, and marches off to fight her own battles, I'll know something else.
The strength with which she owns her own life is no accident.
Editor's Note: The preceding is a June entry in The Random Complexity Writing Challenge. It clocks in at 437. No PCs, Macs or other techie gizmos were harmed in the production of this post.