The day after Hadley was born, there was a moment in the hospital where I allowed myself to imagine her growing older.
The idea was unbearable, and I started to cry. Suddenly this 6lb baby girl seemed incredibly heavy and holding her was like holding the weight of world in my arms.
I loved her. Really really loved her.
I loved her so much and I was instantly terrified. I was afraid.
I feared for her and all of pain that she would inevitably feel - the pain of name-calling, the pain of being picked last in gym, the pain of a broken heart, the pain of disappointment, and just all the pains of being human.
I couldn't bear that she would feel any of it. I wanted nothing but joy for her - anything else seemed unacceptable.
Justin took a picture of that moment when I was holding my daughter and crying like a banshee. When he showed it to me, I said it would never see the light of day - I looked hideous. Well, motherhood is the cure for vanity.
I recently came across that picture on our hard drive and, I wasn't horrified by my puffy face or my streaming tears but felt lucky to have that momemt captured on fim. That was the moment that my heart opened up to love her - my new daughter. That was the moment that she became a piece of me.
Happy Mother's Day.