Once upon a time there was the smallest, sweetest most precious miracle that god gifted to us. She came into the world eight weeks early and under some not so great circumstances but none the less after her birth and short stay in the hospital we both went home to start our new lives together.

First there were bottles and diapers, and eventually music groups with other tots. Soon she began talking and walking and making new little friends. Play dates took over most of our lives and watching her develop her own personality really was fun, slowly this small little miracle was becoming her own person. She had likes and dislikes of foods and was very opinionated when it came to dressing, who knew a one year old would be so fashion conscious?

As she grew and met friends my friends changed as our circles revolved around pre-school and ballet. Our days were filled with lots of laughter and love and an occasional temper tantrum usually revolving around the “dressing drama,” but there were always lots of hugs and kisses.

I loved being “mom,” it was the best job in the world. I often thought how lucky I was to have this job and prepare this little gift to one day leave the nest and go out on her own even as scary a thought as it was. I loved holding her little hand!

Pre-school turned into kindergarten and then our friends changed again, and a new home and a new sister, and all of this changed her more and more. At the same time I still loved the kisses and hugs and the feel of her little hand as I watched her learn looking at the world through her “child’s eyes.”

She played so many sports, she skated, she rode, she even played softball for a season, she was what I called the “seasoned” sports player as each only lasted that long but each taught her a different lesson.

At one point in her childhood I became the “voice” for families who did not have an accessible place to play and she joined in and even spoke before the House and Senate. I know this taught her a great lesson. But going to Annapolis I remember we walked into the Capital and I was holding her hand.

Soon came junior high and high school each with lots of lessons, there was driving and curfews and family rules she had to learn to live by. I know I stopped to think at least once or twice that this is going way to fast and I wanted it all to slow down.

I enjoyed the time we had eating lunch together when she called me at her lunch break just so she could eat with me, and when we just sat in bed to “chat” as she used to say when she was a little girl.

I knew and could feel the time was getting close and there were still so many things I wanted to say and still wanted to hold that little hand but I could feel she was getting ready to leave the nest. And then her college acceptances arrive and spring turned to summer.

And in early August as we stood on her college dorm steps saying our goodbyes’, I realized what a wonderful young woman this miracle from god had developed into.

She is everything that I dreamed she would be! I am so proud of this little girl whose hand it was time to let go of…

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