It seems absolutely impossible to me that 29 years ago today, I showed up at the hospital in the wee hours, and in full makeup, to become a mother. Only 23 myself, it seems I thought it would be a breeze and I wouldn’t sweat and cry my makeup off before I needed it to look good for pictures. Now this little bundle has already surpassed that naive young mom (with the mascara under her eyes) by six years??



My daughter, Maddie, is more comfortable in her own skin than a lot of young women I know. She is confident and self-assured, knows what she wants and isn’t willing to settle for anything less. Introverted by nature, being in the company of her horses and dogs makes her heart sing. With no need for a million friends, she has a circle of close ones in which she moves, and is tenderhearted toward those in the world with special needs.

I think what I love most about Maddie, though, is her goodness. She’s honest through and through, has a hard time with injustice, and keeps her word. Stubborn, yes, and practical to a fault, but just…good. With a ringside seat, I’ve watched that goodness make an imprint on the world.

I’m no longer that naive young mom. You’re as likely to find me out of makeup as in, and I’m on my second round of helping raise children (three days a week, anyway). But I am a little misty-eyed today as my first baby begins the march toward the end of her third decade on the planet. Not because of the passing of time (okay, maybe a little), but with a deep and abiding pride.

Happiest birthday, my Maddie girl. Thank you for helping me grow up, as you have, and for expanding my heart to a breadth and depth I never dreamed possible, with 29 whole years of good.


I love you, big as the sky.