11 years ago my second, and last, daughter Lydia was born. As soon as she entered our atmosphere the midwife whisked her away, handed her little body to the nurse and directed her to bring her to the warming table outside and to call the MD on duty. She then turned to me, speaking very slowly and softly, (which was so much scarier than if she had shouted) "go with your baby, rub her feet. Call her into her body. Right now."
I did that while the nurse placed a tiny plastic mask over her face and squeezed a bag that caused her little chest to rise and fall. Soon (though it didn't feel that way at the time) she coughed and sputtered and we all took breaths of our own.
Since that day Lydia, like her sister Maya, has been one of my greatest teachers. She is more motivated and industrious than anyone else in the house by far. She loves to dance, especially in the kitchen. She can do a passable southern accent when necessary. She loves to hop on the massage table whenever she gets the chance. She reads voraciously and has never met a bow-carrying girl or fire-breathing dragon that she could easily walk away from. She loves her friends fiercely, and forgives quickly when necessary. She's the only set of blue eyes in a dark-eyed household, and they move between grey and green with her moods like the north sea. She makes better pancakes and apple pie than I do (and I'm no slouch in the kitchen).
In short, she's my daughter, and I love her beyond reason, and I'm so grateful that she chose to come into that little body that day so she could spend some time with us.
Oh, and she really, really hates spiders. We're working on that.