It had been almost an hour and still no movement. Pregnant and almost two weeks past my due date, I had to lay down every day for an hour and check to make sure the baby was still moving. It was one of the most nerve racking things I’d ever had to do, so when that little human finally moved, my momma heart could breathe again. The next day we headed for the hospital, and on this day, 33 years ago, my youngest daughter Lauren was born.
As she lay on my chest, just moments old, I heard her big sister Haley out in the hallway squeal with delight, “I got what I wanted!”
So did I.
It’s a strange thing how a heart can double in size in the blink of an eye, but that is exactly what happened that afternoon. She didn’t look out into the hospital room to take in the world around her, but turned her gaze on me. Today she still keeps an eye out for me, and those early hours with her gave me an inkling of the fierce love and loyalty that the heart of this daughter of mine can hold. Her connection to those she loves runs deep, and woe to any who would seek to do them harm.
Her independence and determination showed up early, which resulted in her spending most of her first 10 years in timeout. However, that same self-reliance and resolve have served her oh so well. Whether trying out for elite soccer, teaching herself to drive a clutch, wowing a potential employer, or mastering the art of raising up a good dog, once she sets her mind to something, that something gets done.
While fierce, powerful, and strong she may be, behind that immense presence beats a heart as tender and compassionate as they come. Not everyone gets a glimpse, but for those of us who do, it is a gift beyond measure.
The first of our daughters to marry, she chose well and I couldn’t love him more. He will always be my favorite first son-in-law.
When it comes to apples, this one didn’t fall very far from her tree; we share a love of cussing, coffee, the Seattle Seahawks, and Dancing With The Stars.
Lauren is a force to be reckoned with, wants the truth straight up or not at all, finds injustice intolerable, and will do what it takes to get whatever it is done. She knows who she is and what she stands for, and while accepting and respectful of other’s beliefs, will stand alone in her convictions if it comes to that. Hers is a faith too deep and wide to put in a box, and she has come to trust her own deep hard-won inner wisdom, and so have I. To say that I love her to the moon and back doesn’t even come close.
Happy Birthday Lauren Ashby.
Our world and my heart are better because of you.