15 and counting

Celia turns 15 today. I still remember the day she came into our lives. Bruce and I looked at each other and realized we didn’t know a thing about babies or raising a well-adjusted kid. I’m happy to say that we must have done something right, because Celia is a caring young woman.

A couple of weeks ago, Father Donohue, one of the priests at our church, gave a sermon on what happens once Christmas has come and gone. He suggested that although most of us revel in the wonder of a newborn baby and the hope and promise a child–especially Jesus–brings, it’s unrealistic to stay in that moment. Life, as it turns out, is about moving forward and experiencing both the good and the bad that completes the story.

At the time, I thought about how aptly his message applies to so much in life and how tempting it is to stay fixated on the beginning moments–the excitement of a new job, the honeymoon phase of marriage, the feel of a brand new outfit, the anticipation of a room sporting a fresh coat of paint. Though certainly not equal in significance, all of these moments are temporary.

I don’t think I thought about Celia turning 15 one day when I held her in my arms at the hospital or struggled to pull myself out of bed in the middle of the night to feed her and change her diaper. Somehow, we got to this moment and we’ll reach other milestones as well, God-willing. I’ve come to realize that anticipating the unknowns that lie ahead is what parenting is all about.

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