On the International Day of the Girl, I Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift to Me
This morning, like most weekday mornings, I got to the studio around 7 a.m. and stopped in to see Leslie Morgan. On occasion, Dave or Leslie will ask me to stay in the studio to answer the Q-Crew question of the day. Maybe you've heard my (usually boring) answers - maybe not. I run the websites - and I don't consider myself an on-air personality.
Since Dave injured himself, Leslie was running the show solo this morning. I didn't mind sticking around to answer the question. I had no idea it was the International Day of the Girl - celebrating and empowering young women. And, I was asked to name the girl I was celebrating.
Five years ago, this November, I was blessed with the surprise that I was pregnant. It wasn't really part of my plan since I've been battling health issues my entire adult life. Under the care of a high risk OBGYN, I powered through the vomiting, sleepless nights, and grave changes to my body. My husband and I were both sure we'd have a boy, fulfilling his dreams of a pro quarterback. When the ultrasound tech told us that we were having a girl, we were both genuinely surprised.
When our daughter Ava was born, I didn't know anything about caring for babies. But, I learned quickly. And, after a scare that her metabolic makeup might severely limit her diet and several trips to Riley Children's Hospital, it all became very real.
Now, Ava is four. In the past year, her personality has developed and I'm understanding our similarities and differences. I've always been introverted and on the serious side. My daughter is infinitely silly and will chatter to anyone - even the scary, hairy, tatted up motorcycle guy on the street. And when I get really worked up, she just looks at me with a mischievous grin and says, "Chill out, mama!" And though parenthood can be completely exhausting, I try to not only seize but cherish every moment I can with my only child.
I don't know who my daughter will become. She loves human anatomy and is incredibly active. Will she still love anatomy and running laps in 15 years? Who knows... I do know I'm in for a long, exhausting, wonderful journey to help her find herself and her passions. My own mother carted me to horseback riding lessons, swimming lessons, gymnastics, dance, drama classes, choir practices, more dance classes, and cheered her way through endless recitals, ballets, plays, exhibitions, competitions, and performances. I don't ever remember a time when my mom wasn't there for me and I plan on paying that gracious attitude forward to my own daughter so that she can safely explore her gifts and talents. When she fails, I'll be here to pick here up, dust her off, and help her back onto the stage. And, God willing, I'll be there to encourage her, dress her, wipe her tears, and clap relentlessly throughout the many stages of her life.
Every girl around the world deserves the encouragement and empowerment that I was afforded by my friends, relatives, father, and most of all, mother. On this International Day of the Girl, tell the girls in your life how much they mean to you and build them up to do great things.
Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains.