This year has been a year full of milestones for our four year old daughter.
She blew out the candles on her birthday cake for the very first time. She belly laughed for the first time. She is thriving in an all-day pre-k full of absolutely normal kids her age. We understand almost 99% of her speech these days. Life is good.
Today, a milestone happened for us in the car.
When I walked in to pick her up from pre-k, she grinned widely, jumped up, and ran over to hug me.
The last time I picked her up? Tears. Total meltdown. Temper tantrum complete with thrashing in the floor. She is accustomed to her father picking her up and had not been informed about the change. She was NOT happy. Today she was happy to see me. We started last night to explain to her that Mommy would be picking her up from school to take her to a doctor’s appointment.
I had a snack waiting in the car. Once strapped in, I got her settled with her snack, got the tunes going, and off we went.
Halfway across town, as she snacked and I chowed down on Peanut M&M’s, a favorite song of hers came on Pandora.
I turned it up, she squealed, and we sang as loud as we could together.
Then, it hit me.
Were a mother and daughter rocking it out in the car.
Just an average, everyday Mom & daughter totally grooving together.
I had to stop singing because I started crying. Furiously blinking back tears so she wouldn’t see me and swallowing my tears so I could sing with her again, relishing the normalcy of the moment.
My four year old and I did not bond when she was born. She was born with a condition known as Pierre Robin Sequence. At just 9 days old, she had major surgery and was in an induced coma for a week as the swelling went down from her surgery.
When she was 56 days old, I was hospitalized.
When she was 7 months old, I stopped exclusively pumping and stopped resenting her for all the issues she brought into my life.
When she was 3 years old, she had to have another surgery and I was forced to return to the same hospital she was at for her NICU stay. We bonded that week, the two of us, and have been growing closer ever since.
But today? Today was really the first time I felt that miraculous mother/daughter bond with my daughter.
I cried not only because it had finally happened but because it took nearly five years to happen.
You know what though?
TOTALLY worth the wait.