She Was Mine First

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Two weeks ago I spread the train of her dress out onto the wide planks of the dark wood floor. The ivory lace delicate against the aged wood, new resting on old. I adjusted her veil so that it fell softly against her shoulder and I looked into her dark brown eyes….my Molly, my beautiful girl. I stepped away, moving out of the picture so the natural light could find her. The tall slender photographer stepped in and began to shoot, adjusting her gaze and moving her ever so slightly. Doing his best to artfully capture her grace. 

As I watched her pose in her perfectly fitted ivory gown it was all I could do not to cry like a baby, but we had spent far too much on hair and makeup to let myself fall apart. I knew if I cried she would too, so I took a deep breath and marveled at the woman who would soon be a wife. 

It was one of those moments where time stood still and life seemed to be suspended, ever so briefly, but in the most magical way. We had spent the afternoon pinning her hair, adjusting her makeup and being together because that was how she wanted it. The two of us in the beautiful old cabin preparing for her wedding. A mother tending to her daughter in sacred quiet and savoring the peace that we find in each other. 

In that moment a conversation I had two years ago with my friend Beth flashed into my mind. She had asked me if I could remember a time when I was in my feminine power. Without hesitation I said, “Yes, I do. I remember it perfectly.” 

I was in labor with Molly and my body was not handling it well. The situation had become more dire and we discussed a cesarean if progress didn’t happen soon. I was shivering uncontrollably, vomiting, and hating everyone in the room, but I remember a moment that everything became very clear. I went into myself and shut out everyone around me. I connected with the child inside my body and said, “Baby we are going to do this now. It will always be the two of us, and we are going to do this together. We can do this.” A sense of peace come over me and we both knew….on a completely energetic level, we knew. I felt powerful and strong and in myself in a way I cannot describe, but we both just knew.  In a very short time my body opened, we breathed into one another and she pushed her way into this world. It was beautiful and quiet and perfect, and I felt that same sense of peace find me again as I stood back and watched as my daughter posed in the soft light. 

The ceremony was on a mountain top and she and her handsome groom promised to love each other forever and always. She was radiant. There were tears and laughs and toasts given by friends and family. Her friend Jordan stood and spoke of the depth of their friendship and said what I have felt since that day, “She may be Kyle’s wife now, but she was mine first.” 

She is from my blood and my bones. We shared one breath and before she was a friend, a lover and now a wife, she was mine, first. 

I share her because that is what mothers must do, it is our burden, the conflicted sorrow of letting go. Wanting all the joys of life to fall easily into our children’s hearts, but wanting to be close enough to witness it if we can. Never enough time to hold them near, so we must gracefully step out of the picture and let them find their own way.  

She is happy now, and I love that she is. 

To be her mother is my privilege because to love her is an honor, but to be loved by her is divine.

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