On October 2, 2018 I was blessed with the most wonderful experience of spending the day with my daughter and son-in-law, as she labored and he stood by her side, both working together to bring Lilith Joy into this world. I was able to be with my daughter, to encourage her and share in a plenitude of priceless moments, as she fought through the pain and the mental anguish that tells you, “You can't do this,” only to see her come out on the other side stronger than I ever gave her credit for being. Preparing for this day, I imagined that all eyes would be on Lili as she broke out of her mother's womb, but I couldn't help but to gaze down at my daughter with amazing admiration for her ability to endure 32 hours of labor and being able to accomplish it all with amazing grace and courage (though she might remember it all quite differently).
Everybody told me how different it would be when I became a grandparent. In my mind I thought all the difference would surround this precious new creation, and while that is true, it does not encompass the fullness of it. I do jump at every moment I get to spend with Lili, and I need my Lili fix quite regularly. Even more intensely, however, I am always waiting with anticipation to see the beautiful girl I gave birth to all those years ago. I delight in gazing at this new little bundle of happiness and am instantly moved to love my daughter in a new capacity. It's a love that moves beyond knowing her as the little person I nurtured, trained, and protected. I now love her as a woman who has a share in what I experienced for the first time twenty years ago. I love her with the knowledge that she now knows me more intimately as a mom and a new bond has formed between us in these past few weeks.
As I also go through the trials of being a mom to a sixteen year old again, I have been
reminded of the push and pull of the relationship I had when my eldest was that age. What has happened over the past four years as she went to college, got married, and has now had a baby, is something I cherish beyond all measure, as she has become a remarkable woman right before my eyes. This gives me astounding hope and encouragement as I go through the same growing pains with my youngest. I take comfort knowing that even though the road she is traveling on is incredibly different, I will look at her with great admirat