standing ovations

My daughter got one last night. A standing ovation. For singing the most beautiful song. In the most amazing way. At graduation. In front of 3000 people. My baby. I cried. My precious baby daughter. All grown up.

This child of mine was born November 12, 1986. Three weeks overdue. A long, long labor. Pushing for three hours. Suction. Forceps. Caught like a football after what sounded like a cork popping from a bottle. I was sick. Pre-eclamptic. It was do or die time, literally. She was beautiful…to me. Pictures tell a different tale. Poor, marked up, swollen baby girl. My heart exploded with love for this child I’d prayed for. If I’d only known.

She was a difficult baby. Screamed for hours. Post partum depression was my constant companion. Once I “saw” me throwing my baby from a second story window just to hear the silence. I put her in her crib instead and left the room. Not silence but peace, for a moment.

Walking at 8 months, speaking at 9. Reading before 2 years…about Afganistan in the newspaper. “Aunt Bonnie…what’s Afganistan?” Preschool at 4. Head Start. “Here’s my bus, Bye Mom” at 4 years old. My baby. In such a hurry to grow.

Stabbing a boy with a plastic knife. At 4. “He didn’t do what I wanted Mom.” Preschool. Unable to coordinate enough to pump herself on a swing. Music flows from her body. Kindergarten. Ran from the classroom, the school because they couldn’t find her baseball card. Teacher called. “She said she would kill herself. I’ve never heard a child say that before.” Found walking down the street. Counselor. Scary. Terrifying.

Third grade. Someone “made” it rain. Stabbed him with a wood chip. “Don’t you understand that if you hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have stabbed you?” Note to the boy. Teacher odd. Scary. Terrifying. Fourth grade. Ten days in the child’s mental health unit. My baby, curled up into a ball under the table crying about being starved to death. My heart broke every day. Sixth grade. New school. Tested for the gifted program. Life changing.

Dad hit her. So hard the mark was still there two hours later. I said “Enough.” He said “Give the girls a kiss for me. Tell them I love them. You’re alone now. Goodbye.” before swallowing two bottles of pills and following them with a 40 oz beer chaser. ER called. Found in his car at the park. Stomach pumped. Liver damage. Maybe he won’t make it. Released to psych ward and to his brother. I said “No. You can’t come back.” Packed up his stuff and took it to the hospital. Three boxes. Left outside the door.

Middle school. Hard. Very hard. So many changes. New home. New school. No daddy. Mommy working all day. Hard. Very hard. Music her salvation. Band. Trumpet. Any other instrument that is put in front of her too. Amazing. Piano lessons for six months only. Prodigy. Now she writes, composes, plays…does it all. Miracle. My baby.

High school. Only a few days before 9/11. Mom getting re-married. Hard. Very hard. Dad re-married. Disappeared. His new wife says he must choose. He chooses wrong. My babies. No daddy. He’d been a better father since not living with us. No more. Three years. Absent without leave. Hard. Very Hard. Step father an idiot. They clash constantly. Horrible. Anxiety returns. My baby. She excels in school…and music. Not much else. Beautiful girl. Locked up inside herself except with the music. Always the music. Running Start. A year of college under her belt already. Harder classes, more work. Not as many awards as those who didn’t do college. She has the advantage though. Fifty credits towards her degree. In music education and performance. She wants to be a high school band teacher. Her salvation has become her career goal. The music teachers who saved my girl have become the pallet for her future. Miracle. My baby.

Standing ovations. My baby girl. My grown up daughter. As I watched my beautiful daughter last night, her life flashed before my eyes. My amazing, difficult, wonderful, talented, miracle girl. The ride has been a challenge. A learning experience. A gift. A struggle. A miracle. I am so proud of this child, this young woman. Her voice, so much like mine, is strong and powerful now. She can do what she sets her mind to. She can take care of herself. She will journey from her home soon. Into the “world” of college and adulthood. Tears and anxiety will follow her I’m sure. They are part of her. As am I. My baby. My daughter. My miracle. Standing ovations indeed. Bravo!



4 responses to this post.

  1. Brava for the beautiful girl!

    And please check your email when you get a chance.


  2. Your beautiful indigo girl. An old soul. I know she is going to be a powerful life force in the world.


  3. wow …. That is a lot. I have enjoyed reading you, it is very honest.


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