Once, when you were a tiny infant
asleep on a pillow on my lap,
a spider wandered too close and I brushed it away.
I remember wishing I could always be there
to brush aside anything that might cause you harm.
You were young then and so was I.
But you grew and were not the coddling kind.
A rebel with a sense of humour,
a dreamer with a streak of realism,
as stubborn as the knots in your hair that we both
cried over as I wielded the brush.
I remember hoping life would not throw you anything
you couldn’t handle.
You were older then and so was I.
As a woman, you discovered the world I’d been living in
and the revelation brought us closer together.
Promoted to mother, you began to see things
through the same lens.
And you shone. And you shine.
And I know that no brushing aside of life’s troubles
could have taught you how to be who you are now.
This you learned on your own.
We are older now, and perhaps a little wiser.
Happy birthday, darling daughter.