You are a newborn, and we are driving somewhere. It is a very hot August day. I have the air conditioning on full blast in the Subaru. You make no sound.
We are driving into the city, I think, to pick up Eldest. Pete must have taken him to Maria's to give you and me alone time. But it is time to retrieve him, to bring him back to the fold. Perhaps Pete has taken off to New York or Las Vegas or Los Angeles for a meeting. No matter. We are off to retrieve my big boy, your big brother, Eldest.
And you make no sound.
Being me, I imagine horrors. You are too hot, surely. You have stopped breathing, certainly. I pull off at Seminary Drive because, certainly, you are in distress.
You are not. You are just quiet. Too quiet for this mother who must hear all to know all.
You were fine that day. You have been fine every single day since then.
Still, your mother worries about you. Frets. Fixates. Likely annoys the crap out of you with her questions. "Are you okay?" "How's it going?" "Everything all right?"
Today, you are a teen. And your mother will keep worrying about you. Until the day she dies.
Happy birthday, sweet 13-year-old Daughter. Cut me slack. You are the only Daughter I will ever have. You are the only Daughter I will ever love with all my being.
Pressure? Yeah, but you can take it. After all, you're my Daughter.