My 23-year-old baby girl

My first Mother’s Day, Kianna was four days late. It was on May 8th. She’s was supposed to be born Cinco de Mayo but decided to take her sweet time and join the world on the 12th. She came out with a bang! She was so quiet from all the drugs I had to take from a difficult labor and then day two… she kept the whole hospital floor awake for two days! She hasn’t been quiet since. She spent much of her childhood full of energy, determined, and talking whenever and wherever. She was very independent. She does what she wants and doesn’t do what she doesn’t want. And she questions everything and everyone. I remember when she was a toddler she would constantly ask, “why.” Yes, she was one of those! When Kianna was two, I wrote in her journal, “Kianna’s favorite saying is ‘I can do whatever I want because I’m a big girl.'” It is these personality traits that helped her achieve her goal in graduating in neuroscience! She’s not the typical neuro student. She fought hard and got there! Now she’s determined to help people struggling with diseases such as schizophrenia as a neuropsychologist or so we all thought. She’s decided to keep her options open so she may go the doctor route and become a neuro psychiatrist. Yes, I’m a proud mama as I watch her achieve her goals from the sidelines.

It’s always around Christmas and her birthday that I start reminiscing. As both of us grow older, I’m thankful for the things I kept. A few clothes. Her favorite dolls. Her first toy that was a rattle. And my favorite her journal that I tried to write in often. This made me laugh:

31 January 1999 – “Earlier this evening, my little four year old was painting and coloring in her room while listening to the Spice Girls. She’s growing up so fast.”

Spice Girls at four. Too funny! I talked about the first time she went skating, the first time she stole something, first haircut (and yes, I still have it) and lots and lots of firsts. The words I used often were cute, funny, impatient, active. She loved art. I knew her determined and strong-willed ways would allow her to achieve what she wanted in life and so far that holds true. I remember I used to say though that we just had to get her there.

Here’s another entry for her seventh birthday:

“My little baby so tender and sweet has turned seven – inquizzitive and smart. A young child who loves to laugh and steal’s her mom’s loving heart. You are precious, unique and God created. A gift from Heaven Above. Your hugs and kisses are special to me. Happy Birthday my little love.”

She’s still my love. She’s still inquizzitive and smart. I remember I would start planning her birthdays in January! I used to love picking the theme with her, location, cake, etc. I always loved making her birthdays fun and memorable.

Life was a whirlwind. Most of her childhood, I was working and earning my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Sometimes I think back and wish I took more time to walk the beach and just listen to her talk about everything and answer her thousands of questions. I’m very thankful for my mom, who was there and did those things with her. Tea parties. Swinging and the park. Riding her bike …. while I took her to dance, swim lessons, taekwondo, did homework, and all the other activities. Kianna still has an amazing relationship with her grandma! I’m very thankful for that.

No matter how old she gets, she will always be my baby girl, who bounced off the walls and loved to laugh. Happy birthday baby girl! Love always mom!

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