As the girl grew, she did not suffer with a wicked stepmother, she did not lose her father to a mystical dragon or a noble quest. It could be argued that she lived an almost-fairytale life. The girl dreamed many dreams, imagined many things for her life, but one future was certain, in her mind: she would be a mother.
She would have babies. She would change diapers, she would wipe noses, she would read stories, she would bake her specialty chocolate chip cookies. She would sit at the table and work on homework, she would cheer at soccer practice, she would get through adolescence somehow.
Sound like a fairytale? Yep.
Once upon a time, this same girl found out her dream would come true. She read the books, she rubbed her belly, and she read Goodnight Moon aloud to the small being in her belly.
Then, one early morning in September, this girl-grown-into-a-woman got her first indication that the fairy tale may have an alternate ending. That dreams come true are complicated. Her tiny daughter made her appearance over a month early: arrived with dark eyes and huge feet, and a serious little face. She fixed those old-soul eyes on her mother, and her mother knew instantly that life would never unfold like it had in the stories, but would reveal itself just as it was supposed to.
What the young mother learned, on that stunning September day, was that her fairytale was just beginning. That she had no idea what her story would include, but that it would be full of mystery, of surprises, of uncertainty and magic.
My changeling transformed the narrative completely, as all firstborn babies do. My complex, enchanting and enigmatic child leads the way, is writing the story, and I am delighted - honored - to be part of the adventure.
Happy Birthday to my amazing daughter. Her day is also mine: anniversary of the birth of the real fairytale. We are living: messily, neurotically, busily, noisily, ironically, and yes, happily - happily ever after.