The moment my daughter was born, I knew my life had changed for the better.
My daughter was born on a warm June night nearly nine years ago. Hours after she came into this world, my husband slept as I held my firstborn, my little girl, in my arms and we stared at each other.
It was our first time to be alone. She didn't cry or squirm. We just silently studied each other's face by the dim light of the hospital hallway and I knew right then that my life had changed for the better.
Here are ten reasons why my daughter is the greatest gift I've ever received:
1. Her beauty takes my breath away.
There's no prettier child to me, inside or out. Her compassionate heart, adventurous spirit, and bright blue eyes remind me every day that there is still good in this world.
2. She's my best friend.
We laugh as melting ice cream drips down our arms. We share the day's events as she snuggles beneath her blankets. We love each other unconditionally, we apologize when we're wrong, we confide, we connect and we communicate. We treasure the time we spend together.
3. She'll take care of me when I'm old.
She'll be the one to wipe applesauce from my chin when my trembling hands are faulty. She'll be the one to take me to doctor's appointments and push my wheelchair. She'll be the one to care for me when I can no longer care for myself.
I know I'll be able to depend on her when my time on earth winds to a close and I can think of no other person I'd rather spend that time with than her.
4. She looks up to me.
She's still a little girl, so she believes that I hung the moon. She takes my word solely because it is mine. She still comes to my defense when the world tells me I'm not good enough, important enough or smart enough. She believes in me — and I hope she always will.
5. She has a contagious smile.
No matter what the day throws at me, my daughter's smile can make the world right again. It's powerful, magical and spiritual.
6. She and I have an unbreakable bond.
I know the teenage years are coming. I know we will disagree and argue, but the bond between the two of us will never break. She's too important, precious and loved by me to ever let that happen.
7. She's mine, and I'm proud to call her that.
I brag about my daughter often, and I'll never apologize for it. I want the world to know that this beautiful, kind, compassionate, loving, smart and talented child belongs to me. She's my greatest source of pride.
8. She's the one thing I got right.
I've failed miserably at a million things, but she's not among them. One look at her and I know I've done something right in this lifetime.
9. She's the best of me and her father.
Everything I love about her father, I love about her. My strengths are evident in her. She's the two of us, without the many faults and flaws that we possess.
10. She's mine forever.
She's mine. This girl is mine. This precious source of joy is all mine. She is my daughter, my light, my life. She is mine. A son is your son until he marries a wife, but your daughter is your daughter for the rest of your life.