In the midst of moving out of my first home after 15 years, arranging treatment for my son, planning my wedding and quietly observing what would have been my 19th wedding anniversary with Samantha (yesterday), I am happy to be greeted by a smile and a hug from my daughter, who turns twelve today.
I'm reminded of the relatively quick, complication-free labor and delivery (just over 4 hours), and the tiny, frail baby girl we brought home. Home to the house we're now packing to leave. Our cat, Gryphon, dwarfed her (as he'd dwarfed Tyler before). And now she's almost a teenager, taller than her stepmom-to-be, talented, smart and beautiful. And testing for her second belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Although I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am that TFMD is here to girl-bond with Kayleigh, I think the bond my daughter and I forged in the crisis of losing Sam and my father (and the house disasters that followed) will have a powerful, lasting effect on our respective lives.
My little girl is twelve today. That makes me smile.