I loved being pregnant, all 3 times. The first time was magical. The amazing dependent life growing within me that would eventually become quite independent of me. My body didn't do the birthing thing well times 3. But when I got over that part, the rest was great. I cannot imagine my life without children. My own in particular. I have many childless friends - by choice and by circumstance. Some are fellow teachers and amazing, loving ones as well. Others are 'playmates' who just don't get what I do, as a mother or a professional. I think they believe my life is harried, chaotic, full of disappointments and frustrations and pain ALL the time. How can you do that?? they often ask me. I am grateful there are people who know parenting - biological or not - just isn't for them. And I mean that kindly. I see, far too often, the results of people having children who weren't ready and probably never will be. It can be heartbreaking. Strike that. It IS heartbreaking.
So, on this day, 21 years ago, my heart was opened. I had the privilege to be part of an amazing journey and am thankful that I took the opportunity offered to me. My daughter taught me about unconditional love, perseverance, tenacity, kindness, acceptance. About not letting others' opinions about you sway what you think about you or judging people because they don't think like you. I witnessed her pull through situations with grace and humility that would have made me crumble. She is my favorite travel buddy. My chillin' at the mud pools pal. My tea at the end of the day friend. I know she will always have my back.
Today, she is on the other side of our country. Fully planted in her own life. Making her own story. And what a wonderous story it will be...
"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."
Happy 21st Birthday, my menehune.....
©Diana Shay Diehl / North Rim: Grand Canyon National Park