By now, you’ve all heard that Melinda got her mission call to Texas. You’ve maybe seen the video, read the posts, and if you live by us, congratulated her personally.
Ah Melinda. Where did the time go?
When you were born, we didn’t know if you were a boy or a girl. My mom was there, and your dad. The Dr. was the same one who’d delivered your Aunt Lynn. Dr. Lowell. I delivered at a teaching hospital, and a cute, young, blond, student nurse helped me through your delivery.
You were 10 days late. Finally the Dr, offered to induce me, and I, generally against any kind of medical intervention in childbirth, practically begged him to “yank you out of there!”
We were surprised at the first glimpse of your bald head. Your brother had been born with copious amounts of dark hair, but you had none of that. Your head was like a perfect peach. In fact, your whole body was peachy, slightly fuzzy, and the most perfect color I’d ever seen on a baby. Your eyes were a deep blue, that never changed.
We all cried. I was thrilled to have given birth to a daughter. There, in the hospital, with my mom and you, I loved being in the center of generations. Moments after your birth, the nurses glued a tiny pink bow to your head. It was the first of many such gluings, as you did not see fit to grow hair til you were 3.
The dresses! The little bonnets, and tights, and hairbows grandma and I came up with! Grandma and I scoured the thrift stores for the tiny pink lacy things we saw you wearing. She crocheted, I sewed and your Grandma C mailed the most precious things I’d ever seen.
Dressing a girl is NOT like dressing a boy.
You grew. Taller and skinnier. You refused to wear anything but dresses. You loved having your hair done.
You amaze me every day of your life, whether it’s your wit, your patience, your faith, or those astonishingly beautiful blue eyes.
I wrote you a poem when you were born. I don’t typically share my poetry, but I’m feeling brave today. Your courage in serving this mission helps me feel brave. Thank you.
To Melinda 19 January 1994
My own daughter,
The womanliness of me, in her
All that I am, she is and more.
a daughter, wife, mother.
These are the people she will be.
She may know the stir of life inside her body, and love in her heart.
She may know the pain of birth and heartbreak.
She may know the joy of love and family.
Connected to me in a way only a mother and daughter can be
Connected to me in the way that my mother and I are
My mother, myself, my baby.
p.s. if you think the poetry sucks, you will please shut up about it. This means all of you.