On July 19, 2011, I found out I was pregnant. Female intuition told me I was, but after two boxes of pregnancy tests, I was certain. I did the math and guesstimated my due date as end-March. But when I went to my first official prenatal doctors appointment and was informed my due date was March 26, I smiled.
“That’s my mother’s birthday,” I told the doctor.
March 26, 2012, came and went. Despite my mother’s birthday dinner at Shun Lee and all my attempt to make it “clear” it was time to exit the all-inclusive resort by eating as much spicy food as I could, my little one stayed put. On March 28, two days post due, after a check up, my doctor decided to have me induced due to low fluid levels. On the evening of Wednesday, March 28, I went into be induced. It wasn’t until Friday, March 30, 2012, after over 40 hours labor and almost four hours of pushing, where Sophia Eleanor Kovall made her entrance into this world.
Sophia's nature explains her delayed entrance; she will do what she wants when she is ready. She is not a fan of transitions or being rushed. It is the cause of many fights and stressful pre-school mornings; it is also incredibly important when it comes to her unusual ability to sit and focus on a task at hand, like writing in her journal or sitting and drawing. That being said, when Sophia wants something she wants it. Just the other day I asked her to be patient. She retorted, "Mommy, I don't have patience."
So, the two most important females in my life will always share a birthday week. This particular year is one of milestones. My mother's 70th just 6 weeks after my 40th. While 6 isn't really a milestone, each year that passes I see how different Sophia is, how much has changed, and particularly at six, there are moments where I could envision her as a pre-teen- like just the other day when she walked out of her room with costume clip-on earrings; yet at the very same moment I see her baby face that was there from the beginning. There is a very strong desire to savor every moment- both with my mother and Sophia- and a real sense of gratitude that they both have time to truly know each other and build a relationship with one another as not everyone is as fortunate.
When I was 6, my mother was 36. After 6 years and 4 months of being an only child, my brother was born. My mother recently shared a story with me.
"It was when Matthew was born where I really started to feel as though you had your own little life," she said. "Particularly in the beginning, I arranged for baby sitters or other parents to take you to camp since it was summer time, or to playdates, or to the beach. It was as if you were all grown up and didn't need me anymore."
As a 6 year old, I certainly do not remember feeling this way. And to this day, as a 40 year old woman, I do still feel like I need my mother. Of course not the same way as I did as a child; but still. What's interesting though is the ways in which she- at times- looks to me for guidance and advice now too. Particularly when it comes to, yes, fitness, wine selection, or figuring out the tip at a restaurant.
But when my mom is not around, it is nice to see how the other leading female in my life at times looks out for me even at her young age. When we get into a cab or a car, she insists I have my seat belt on before the driver starts (after I put hers on, of course). At a family or group dinner, she wants to make sure I have the necessary utensils. And during my last marathon training season, she would tell me she wanted to make sure I drank enough water and didn't run too much because I could get hurt.
So Happy 70th Birthday to my amazing mother and Happy 6th Birthday my amazing daughter. Here's to many many more.