There’s a person who lives here named Abby.

February 16, 2008

That’s what I said to Tim about ten years and one week ago, a couple of days after we had brought our most gorgeous daughter home from the hospital. The ultra-sound tech had been pretty sure she was a girl, but she had only gotten a quick peek before the baby turned over and closed her legs (this as opposed to my boys who seemed to view every ultrasound as an opportunity to display their…um…maleness). So we weren’t completely surprised when the doctor called out, “She’s a girl!” But I felt such a sense of joy when he said it. I cried out, apparently louder than I had intended (hey, they gave me a shot of super good drugs right after the doctor finished pulling her out via c-section), “I’m soooo glad! I reeeeeeally wanted a girl.” Everyone in the operating room laughed with me.

And then a couple of days later, as Tim and I stared rapt at our girl lying in her bassinet with one fist curled up by her head, I tore my eyes away from her to look at him and said, “There’s a person who lives here named Abby.” And we paused for a moment, silent, contemplating what should have seemed like a very simple truth, but somehow wasn’t. She wasn’t just “the baby” anymore — she was this entire complete person that lived here. She would grow up, she would have her own personality, her own likes and dislikes, her own dreams and disappointments.

And now, suddenly — I mean, really it feels suddenly — she’ll be ten on Monday. Double digits, as she keeps reminding me. I never could have known that moment staring at her in the bassinet how very much I would grow to love her. Heck, at that moment, I thought that I could never love a human being more than I did at that second. But knowing her, being her mom each day of the last ten years, has made my love for her blossom even greater. It’s not that every day has been easy, that she hasn’t frustrated me beyond all measure at times, that she hasn’t sometimes bored me to near tears (I am so not one of those mothers who can’t see the difficulties in her children!). But wow. Not only is there a person who lives here named Abby, but there’s this increasingly gorgeous girl who listens to God’s voice. There’s this girl-woman who makes me laugh at her jokes, who can in various situations glance at me with a certain tilt to her eyebrow and send me into a fit of giggles. There’s this generous-hearted kid who has in the last week said to me, “Thanks for taking care of me when I was sick, Mom,” (as if I wouldn’t?) and “Mom, you’re not going to bend over and clean the catbox. Your back hurts — I’ll do it.”

Tonight we have her party, a scaled-down, much more sophisticated do than last year’s. She’s having her two best friends over (I sold her on the idea that if we had fewer girls, we could do funner stuff). We’re going to Olive Garden, the height of ten year old culinary palettes. (“Mom, Max and Erma’s is kind of babyish. I mean, they have sundae bar.”) We’re going to the movie, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and then, in lieu of a goody bag (“Mom, I’m going to be ten, not five.”), we’re going to Barnes & Noble for each girl to pick out a paperback book. (“This party has to say something about who I am, Mom. And I’m all about books.”) Then we’re coming back home to make Aunt Annie’s pretzels. (from the box you can buy at the mall store — “Those rock, Mom, you know.”) The girls will decorate their own cupcakes and we’ll play Apples to Apples, Jr. (“Which is the funnest game ever, Mom”) and make kid mocktails. Then they’ll go down to our basement/rec room and curl up in sleeping bags and tell stories and hang out. Sunday morning, Dad has been instructed to make French Toast (“His is way better than yours, Mom. Not to hurt your feelings.”). And as a safeguard against starvation, we have little powdered doughnuts. We’re going to make mimosas with sparkling grape juice. (“Too cool, Mom.”)

One thing I’ve learned in planning this party — nearly ten year old girls talk in a lot of italics.

Man, I’m blessed with this kid. And I realize that while, right now, we have a person who lives here named Abby, I’m going to blink once or twice, and we won’t have her here anymore. And that will be cool — on some long days, I even look forward to an empty nest. But right now, this minute, I’m going to relish her; I’m going to be in the moment, this wonderful moment when my daughter turns ten.

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7 Responses to “There’s a person who lives here named Abby.”

  1. Zany Mama said

    Beautiful…what a lucky mama to have such a girl. 🙂

  2. Erica said

    I love it when you write.
    I hate it that I don’t comment more faithfully.
    But I want you to know, I read every word.

    Abby is awesome! And she is a person who lives there.
    That’s so cool that you got a real daughter. Emma staunchly defends her status as “not-real” and who am I to argue with such logic?

  3. bethkoruna said

    Thanks for the sweet comment ZM — and congrats on your coming baby!

    Emma is real in all the best ways, Erica. As will sweet sweet WIlliam be.

  4. Abby really is a person who lives there. I’ve seen it.

    She’s nice.

  5. bethkoruna said

    Yeah, we’re pretty sure she’s a keeper.

  6. sistergrimm said

    I don’t get to peoples’ blogs very often. But I enjoy it when I do.

    I just want to cry right now.

  7. bethkoruna said

    Thanks much for saying that sistergrimm. You’ve made my day!

    Don’t know if I know you in real life, but it’s great to meetcha online 🙂

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