I was about to give birth to my first born child.
IT (we didn't know the sex yet) was not making it easy on me. And IT didn't seem to want to come out. But finally, late into the evening, IT did come out. All 7 pounds, 3 ounces of wiggling dark haired beauty. Nicole Elizabeth came screaming into the world on Groundhog's Day 1983 and my life has never been the same since!
It's been a roller coaster ride and I've had to learn how to be a mom--her mom--as I went along. I'm still learning. And she's quick to let me know when I'm not getting it right. But she also tells me when I am, and for that, I'm grateful.
I've had a unique opportunity to do alot of the things I've done once before all over again. When she had her accident at age 25, she was suddenly transformed from an independent, active young woman to a small and helpless little person in a hosptial bed--not unlike a newborn. We went through all stages of development: sitting up, learning to eat, hand-eye coordination, talking, and (thankfully!) walking. Because she's in the room she grew up in, and she's still the same size she was in the ninth grade, it's easy to forget sometimes that she is a young woman, not a child. For goodness sakes, she was already two years old when I was her age!
But in that time that I've been "raising Nicole" again, I've had lots of time to reflect on her wonderful childhood and all the joy she's brought into our lives. She's been a little actress since she could talk, and she could recite lines of movies as early as age two. "I've seen a house fly (accentuate the FLY). I've seen a dragonFLY. I've seen a horse FLY. Oh I been done seen about everything 'til I've seen an elephant fa-lyyyyyye!" (That's the song the crows sing in "Dumbo," which was her favorite movie for a long long long long long long long time. We watched Dumbo A-LOT!)
Not long after that, we moved to Jackson, and Nicole was enrolled in the Ballet Mississippi School at age four. We did a studio photo session with my friend, David Claiborne. He asked her what she'd like to dress up in to have her picture taken, and she chose this pink tutu--which I bought for her at a garage sale for a dime! What a wonderful investment that was! She loved wearing it so much that it was often her attire to the grocery store, the park, McDonald's...