I was enormous and uncomfortable the day you were born. You were very late, after all, and my patience had run thin for you to just get here already, and let me see your face. I was scurrying (as best as a 10 months pregnant woman can) to get ready for you to be induced the next day, but then you decided that you would come that day instead. I’ve told you before that I should’ve taken note that you did things on your own terms. I should’ve paid close attention because it would become your hallmark.

You came, fast and furious, bruising your little face in the process, and yet I’d only seen something that beautiful one other time, when your sister was born. I was so relieved and overwhelmed that you were here, so we could begin…just begin the business of loving you on the outside of me, where you could see that mother love and let it nourish and strengthen and protect.

Pursuant to your lively entrance into the world, you continued into your life as a force. Not like a bulldozer (although you did run me over a few times), but a force like a firecracker, bold and beautiful, explosive and emotive and sparkling bright. You dazzled (and still do) with your smile that beams, and left any gathering of strangers as friends. When you got an “ager” on the end of your age, I was always running to keep up with you, and your activities and friends, and the constant allure of a world that seemed so much cooler than your real life. But at the end of the day, my little girl who always wanted to be in charge, still held onto things in which she found security…and one of those things was (and is) me.

This is really how we’ve spent our lives together. You, doing things on your own terms, and me loving you through it; sometimes yelling and crying, sometimes laughing and shaking my head, but always, always loving.

But these are the things you know already, now that you have your own kids. Humans are born being individuals, so we all have a tendency to do things on our own terms. We all have a need to stand on our own two feet and take independent steps, which causes that bit of inherent struggle to try to hold time for a bit, and have them be who you want them to be for a little while. Yet, with each step they take to grow up, they also grow away, and it’s possibly the most bittersweet reality of motherhood.

I’ve watched you grow up and away for 24 years today. I started, early on, to help you be who I thought you would be…the only thing I knew, which was me. And honey, while you’ve certainly got some of me in there, and your daddy, too, you are YOU. Beautiful, wonderful you. Once I finally realized that we were playing on a playing field completely new to me, I started to see the amazing things about you surface. I saw your ability to work toward what you want and not back down, to take some risks, to be BOLD. All things I admire, and wish I had a little more of myself.

Emmie, I’m so proud of the life that you’ve built, you with Bobby, for yourself and your children. I’m proud of who you are as you close out thirty twenty-four years. If you find yourself baffled at times by your own two firecrackers, and crying or shaking your head, just call me. I’m right here, loving. Always loving…

Big as the sky.



Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy?” Psalm 127:3 MSG