Sunday, January 15, 2012

this girl

let me tell you a thing or two about this girl. she is 17 going on 18, officially today.
she was born into an unwed mother {me}, and raised my a single mom {me again} until she was seven.
I didn't even name her for crying out loud. i was too out of it, so my mom named her, i just insisted her middle name be violet. so madelynn violet it was. and still is. although we call her madz.
she didn't even have her own room until she was 4. we shared a lot, and a room was one of them.

this girl didn't have a lot, although she was not deprived. it was before computers were
around in homes, or cell phones, so none of those things took up our time. and with not being
able to afford toys {toys came at Birthdays and Christmas' from family and friends}, we had
two things--EACH OTHER.

i didn't have days being concerned about how cute her invite would
be, or how the decorations would look. these things are mostly meaningless, and i think are done for us, the mom's that want things to look pretty and good. but my daughter has never given a second thought to decorations hardly. sure, she has appreciated it and thanked me for making an effort and making her day special when I could, but decor and the invite is the last thing she noticed.

i like to snap a few pictures the week of her birthday, and this is one i got of her after school in that rockin outfit. {instead of What I Wore Wednesdays, I've contemplated doing What She Wore Wednesdays, cuz she's always so cute}!

oh the days before digital; her newborn picture!
 believe it or not i use to not like pink at all. her wardrobe consisted in red, tan, and black mostly.
now i love pink!

my maid of honor at my wedding

this girl, who is about to become an adult, is getting ready to leave the nest. and it's not been as hard on me as i thought. i think parents are "ready" too. she plans to only go to college less than an hour away, and with our stellar relationship, that is a good thing, because we are so tight. i never thought i could be ready or prepared for such a thing, and i don't think we really are. i think it has happened as a process. i continue to hear parents, including myself say "I won't be able to let go, I just can't imagine the day . . ."

but I think it happens because they are ready to sort of learn to grow on their own, and mature. And I honestly think we are ready too. it just brings us to a new season, a new time. we all go through it. it's just at the time when they are so young, and it doesn't seem like things could ever be different than what we are use to, it seems impossible, but trust me, it's a natural ebb and flow.

 i didn't say it was easy.
 there's a lot of holding tight and letting go in parenting.

 in action on stage in The Bacchae, a Greek Tragedy that she did her Freshman Year.
back stage/dressing room, love this shot

 16 year old pictures

 Mother's Day 2010

 Aw, 8th Grade Formal, it was such a big thing at the time!
 On stage as The Cat In The Hat in Suessical the Musical in 8th Grade
 Madz was 15 here, and it was the day to me, that she started really changing. she started to resemble a woman. it was a hard one to swallow. so bittersweet.
Oh 7th Grade, you were so yesterday!!! To me she is still in 7th grade.


 with one of her BF's in Milwaukee/Wisconsin River Summer 2011

Her and her only sibling. trust me, i wanted her to have a human sibling.


let me tell you a bit about this girl.

if you met this girl, she would make your day. she always wears a smile.
teachers want her for a student.
she is happy about life, and extremely compassionate. she is accepting, and a friend to all.
that was one of the main things i taught her was to befriend that person sitting alone at the lunch table.
to be kind to every type of person, and she has.
she is polite to a default; repeats thank you's over and over.
she has a heart of gold, and has the capacity to light up a whole room. ask anyone.
she is fun, funny, happy, smart, and pure.
she's a dancer, an actress and a star performer in show choir. she plays the contra alto bass,
and is the class Secretary. "they" say I've earned "bragging rights" but i'll quit while i'm ahead.

Happy Birthday to the girl who has shown me that my heart has the capacity to love painfully {in the way that you love them so much it hurts} and joyfully at the same time more than I ever thought possible. You are only one, but you are more than I could ever have asked for. You have done my heart good. 


Kimberly Bonham said...

Loved reading this. Looks like you are into a lot of theater. That is so awesome!

Ash Louise said...

Thank you so much for you sweet words on my blog :) it really blessed me. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your daughter! She's a beautiful young lady. It's sweet the story you two have together. And I'm sure you'll both find the most perfect routine for college life :) Is she studying ballet? She looked amazing in all those dance photos.

Tamera Beardsley said...

Gina I have been looking forward to this post in celebration of your daughter birthday...and it is beautiful! Congratulations to the both of you and all you have accomplished with your lives and... your enduring relationship!

stephanie said...

happy birthday to your sweet girl! you are an amazing mother and that's why she's turned out so good. : )

Noelani said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter, and a pat on the back to her lovely (and gorgeous) mama, who despite the challenges and struggles of being a single mom for 7 years ... stuck by her side and gave her unconditional love.

No joke, this post made me tear up. Maybe because I can see the depths of love from you .. to her? Or because I know the struggles that you had to encounter along the way, trying to shape and mold her ... single handedly?

I am so blessed to have stumbled upon your blog and to have 'met' such a lovely person such as yourself. :)

chambanachik said...

What a beautiful, sweet post. I hope to be as lucky as you with Millie. And the name Violet? I adore it, and considered naming Millie that! :)

SymbioticLife said...

This is a magnificent post. Your relationship with your daughter seems so beautiful. I can only imagine how hard it is transitioning to this place even when you're ready to let go. I am in a similar place but slightly behind. I have a 17 year old and I do look at her baby pictures and then at this young woman who's about to step out of the nest and wonder how on earth this has happened. Where did that baby go? Oh my goodness - she's all grown up. And it's not always a smooth journey but it is a beautiful one that I feel lucky to get to watch.

Sarah B. said...

Gina, this post is so darling. I even teared up reading it, because I can tell how extremely proud you are of your sweet daughter. It sounds like she has been--and continues to be--such a blessing in your life. I love that you two are so close. I too have a close relationship with my mom, so I know how great it is growing up with not just a great mom, but a good friend as well. Keep up the great work, dear! And happy birthday to Madz! :)

Magical Day Dream said...

This is such a touching and precious post. Also a valuable gift in itself to her; I bet she will cherish your words :)



Rebecca Palm* Gallimaufry Photography* said...

I loved this post. I am a just-divorced single mom to a one year old baby boy and I have been fretting about not having enough or being enough for him. This post really helped. I wish we could meet in person so you could give me pointers on parenting. :-) Your daughter is amazing and so are you.

Paislea Elyse said...

how fun!! she's gorgeous!!

allister bee blog

Jazzie. said...

This is so very sweet!
Happy {late} Birthday to your sweet girl(:
She is REALLY pretty { looks like her mama to }

Oh... and I participated in the Suessical Musical to a while ago! One of the most fun musicals ever(:


Laura said...

Your daughter is truly beautiful :) She appears very graceful.

Callie S said...

Brought tears to my eyes. Very nice, Gina!

Mandy Crandell said...

Such a sweet post. Love that she's a dancer! :)

Casa De Luna said...

Happy belated Birthday to your daughter!

theolivetree said...

awwww such a sweet post! Happy birthday to your girl!! Looks like you did one great job raising her ;)

Halina said...

What a lovely daughter you have. Just like her mama! (And what a talented dancer!!)