Look at this beautiful girl! That's my baby girl, and she just turned 18 today! (Again, I'm wishing for a camera (and a scanner) so I could post now-and-then photos of her). As I've been looking through pictures of all of her past birthdays, I'm realizing that her life has just flown by. I so wish I could share some of those pictures with you here.
I can still remember, as if I'm still there, when she was first born. The doctor handed her to me saying, "It's a girl!" I was so happy to have my little baby girl, I just kept saying over and over, "My baby, my baby, my baby!" I couldn't believe that she was really mine. All mine. (Well, I did have to share her with Jim.) I thought she was the most amazingly beautiful thing, even covered with all that while gook. I just kept kissing her and touching her little face. She was my own perfect little alien.
Then I remember later, after she was all cleaned up and the nurse left her with me for the first time alone in the hospital room. I looked down at her little face, and she looked up at me with a look that said, "OK, Mom - Now what?" Then suddenly, I was really scared! The nurse just walked away and left me alone with this baby. No instructions, no suggestions, no handy manual, NOTHING! We were on our own. Jim and I just got to take her home and do whatever we thought was best with her. I couldn't believe we didn't have to sign our lives away for her. We just got to keep her! Of course, we didn't have medical insurance at the time, so she wasn't really free. It took us years to pay her off!
But, lucky for me, Jim was already a Daddy to Peter and Mandy. And he had been such a good Daddy and he loved them so much, so I felt pretty good about him "Daddying" Nikita.
Well, 18 years later, I can say I think we did a pretty good job with her. She is such a loving and happy girl (or should I now say "young woman"?) We love her so much. She has brought our family so much joy and laughter. And the amazing thing is, she still likes us!
She still has another year of high school, but before I know it, we'll be at that stage again:
"OK, Mom - Now what?"
Now I'm getting scared!