As I think back sixteen years, I remember the anxiety of knowing that our first child was to be born in a few hours. Two weeks past my due date, there was no hope of this baby introducing herself to the world on her own. The fear left me breathless...how much is this going to hurt??? I know it will be worth it but what if I can't handle the pain??? As I think back now, I realize how foolish I was...
The physical pain was barely a blip on the radar of the pain I feel each year as the 14th of September approaches. My heart breaks, my eyes water, and my mind drifts back to that beginning. Each year her wings become stronger and I realize that each year, I am one year closer to watching her begin her flight away from the home she has known. She grows, she stretches and soon she will build her own nest. Each year, the pain of childbirth becomes stronger and more intense as I see her becoming the woman God has planned for her to be. No longer the child of my heart but now a being with a life of her own.
As the pain of birthing this young woman year after year overwhelms me, I now turn to the Theotokos. "Help me through this... Show me how you could bear this!" And she whispers to me... "Treasure these things in your heart!" And so along with all of the joy (watching her dance, hearing her laugh, seeing her smile, feeling her hug), I will also treasure the pain of watching her grow, knowing that it is through the pain that great things will come.
A very Joyous Feast to you all and a very Blessed Birthday to our sweet princess!!! Many years!!!