I became a mom twenty-two years ago today. I could wax poetic about what an amazing and beautiful young woman my daughter has become. I could share with you the mixed fear and pride I felt when she traveled (with great excitement) to a Central American country to serve in missions. I could tell you how smart she is and that the creative gene is strong in her. We could chuckle over how she curls up on the sofa in comfy clothes and teaches herself new embroidery stitches while watching episodes of Doctor Who, like she’s a really cool granny. I could rattle off her literary accomplishments — completing NANOWRIMO four times, having her poem published in the college literary magazine, rocking it like Noah Webster in the writing department.
But then I’d just be bragging.
My girl is twenty-two today and I love her very much.
Sunday was my husband’s 52nd birthday and we celebrated by attending The Elizabethan Madrigal Feast at The Center for Arts & Sciences. One of the things I love about living where we do is the convenient access we have to quality fine arts events without having to go into Houston. The Center for Arts & Sciences, in Lake Jackson, is comprised of Center Stages (the oldest community theater group on the Texas Gulf Coast), the Brazosport Art League, the Brazosport Museum of Natural Science, the Brazosport Planetarium, and the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra.
The Elizabethan Madrigal is the Brazosport Fine Arts Council’s big fund raiser and is held every other year. It’s such a huge production, it would just be too difficult to do every year. We attended in 2014 and had such a wonderful time, we promised ourselves we would try to make it a tradition. Tickets are in high demand and sell out quickly, so I ponied up the $10 membership fee to the Council so I could buy our tickets when they first went on sale. We had excellent seats, right next to the action! My girl was even pulled into one of the dance sequences by a member of Queen Elizabeth I’s court.
For the price of a ticket, we were seated at beautifully decorated tables and enjoyed a lovely dinner while watching the performance of Queen Elizabeth and her court. The pageantry is spectacular — the detail of the costumes is every bit as impressive as something you’d see in the “big city” up the road. The players are all volunteers who’ve auditioned for their roles. In the midst of the Queen’s entrance, the presentation of the Christ Child, and several songs and dances, a condensed version of a Shakespeare play is performed. This year’s play was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (When we attended in 2014, we were treated to “Twelfth Night.”)
Here are some photos I managed to capture with my cell phone. I tried to be discreet because the players tend to discourage the use of “magic boxes,” as they call them.
Overall it was a great afternoon. We are already looking forward to the 2018 Madrigal!
P.S. — I have to laugh! After I posted this, I realized I’d put our photo right above the title, which is a quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. However, to someone unfamiliar with the play, it looks quite like I’m saying we are fools. Well, maybe we are. But we’re happy fools, for sure. 🙂
When I first learned I was going to be a mom, I went into shock/panic mode. I’d never really been around babies or even small children, other than my younger sister — and there was such a wide age gap, that I was busy with high school things while she was in her little kid years. It wasn’t until my sister was probably 12 or 13 (and I was 22 or 23) that we really became close. I didn’t know how to relate to babies or small children. What does one talk about? How do you play “baby dolls”? I always had my nose stuck in a book throughout my childhood, so I was clueless on how one interacts with small ones.
I think it was about 3 months into it when I came out of the “Oh my gosh I’m pregnant what am I going to do? I can’t send it back!” phase. Suddenly, I started getting a little more excited about things, but I tackled it from a very “Oh my gosh we are responsible for this small human being and must only purchase the best of everything” attitude. And I’m not talking about designer baby clothes. I’m talking “Has this car seat been tested and approved by NASA? What ARE the best baby bottles?” and so on.
I was determined that if I was going to be a mother, I was going to be the best mother I could be. But I was still afraid. Her daddy, AJ, kept telling me things would be okay. And even when it came time for her to be born and a c-section became necessary, he sat next to me in the OR holding my hand and telling me it would be okay.
And it was.
She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. In a nanosecond, I went from being afraid and worried that I might not even like being a mom, to realizing that I would do ANYTHING to protect this beautiful child that God had somehow seen fit to bless me with.
Over the years, I am sure there are some things that I/we could have done better as parents, but overall, I think we did okay. It doesn’t hurt that she was pretty amazing from the very start. She is a happy girl, rarely complaining (and when she does complain, it’s for a good reason and doesn’t last very long). She’s creative – building wonderful worlds on paper with her command of language, making beautiful jewelry with her imagination, and filling our home with music at her beloved piano. I love hearing from other people how much they enjoy spending time with her — she brings a lot of happiness into the lives of the people around her.
I just can’t believe she’s already 18 years old.
Where does the time go?
Happy birthday, to my beautiful Jami-girl. I could not hope for a sweeter, lovelier daughter and I thank the Lord He chose me and your daddy to be your parents. I love you.
Lagnaippe: 1. Chiefly Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. A small gift with purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus. 2. a gratuity or tip. 3. an unexpected or indirect benefit.