11 October 2009


Emily and I on her 1st birthday.

Emily and I on her 16th birthday.

The crown looked so much bigger in 1993!

I hope Emily remembers our traditions and continues them when she has children of her own. A few of ours have lasted. The birthday crown is one of them. Another is the first day of school pictures. That started with pre-school when she was three. Santa wrote long letters to Emily up till 2007. He (I) left them on the special table that held the the cookies and water. They ended the same way every year: "...laugh as much as you can. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Love, Santa." Emily knew there was a Santa because he finished every letter the same way. And he used the same wrapping paper year after year. She and I wore matching pajamas and pearls every Christmas morning. That ended in 2007 too. She was done with it. No more dirt by the fireplace. No more partially eaten carrots on the front walk, discarded by the reindeer. I miss those days. I still break out the old camcorder and record our Christmas mornings. Another tradition we had was my decorating Emily's bedroom the night before her birthday. That started when she was three. She was a heavy sleeper. I covered her bedroom in streamers, ribbons and balloons so when she woke up it was the first thing she saw. I was ready to stop that tradition before she was. The last year I did it was only because she really wanted me to. She kept her eyes closed so she couldn't see me. I turned off the light when I was done, and she went to sleep. That probably ended in 2007 too. (I'm seeing a pattern here.) Now she wakes up to flowers, balloons, her Winnie-the Pooh bear wearing an Emily shirt and holding a gift, a real gift, and the birthday flag hanging from our porch. Creating memories has been important to me.

I had no idea I'd start this post with two pictures and go on and on about these traditions. We've made a lot of memories. I like to think that they're good ones. The last few years have been hard ones for us and along with that, a fair share of bad memories. Things have been gotten much better in the past 6 months, and my hope is that one day we can be friends. Maybe when she's out of her teens? Like I said, I hope. In the meantime, I'll keep trying.


KathyA said...

I love the traditions! You're such a good mom AND you look younger now than you did then!

Cheryl said...

Thanks Kathy! My hair was pretty straight after I had Emily. I hated it! Thank goodness the hormones remembered what to do and I got the curls back!

I try to be a good mom, but I have regrets.

Lynx217 said...

Your post almost made me cry happy tears. Emily will someday realize you did everything you did for her. As she grows and matures she'll appreciate you more. Just make sure she always knows you love her and if she needs anything, you'll be there. It only gets tougher from here for both of you as she grows more into a young, independent woman graduating and going off to college. It'll be ok though :)

BTW Everyone has regrets. What matters is learning from them.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

You still look so young and beautiful.

You've tried so hard with Emily. I'm sure she'll realize that one day. There's no such thing as a perfect parent. The important thing is that you are willing to keep trying, to learn from your mistakes, and try to correct them. That's really all anyone can do.

happyone said...

You have made many happy memories with Emily. Believe me, she will remember them all and one day thank you and realize what a great mom she has!!

Jamie said...

Yep, an awesome mom. She may not admit it now, but you just watch her carry these things forward with her own...

Hugs, good friend. :)

Jules said...

You've both aged so well! Lovely post Cheryl.

beachgirl said...

What great traditions. We have a few also. Birthdays are one of them and Christmas of course.

Things will improve with your daughter as she gets older. I promise. Especially after they go away to college and see what other kids have for parents. But mothers and daughters are complicated for sure.

Lena said...

I love all of your traditions. The crown and the decorating her bedroom for her birthday, are my favorites. Wish I had thought of them!

All moms have regrets. No one is perfect. Hindsight is always 20/20. We all do our best and when we know better we do better. Oprah always says that and I believe it is true.

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