By Angel Kane
As they say, all good things must come to an end, and on Sunday, May 17th at exactly 2:30 pm at College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon, Tennessee, the Year of Madison bit the dust.
As our eldest moved her tassel from right to left, one thought crossed my mind, and one alone… I did it!
I actually did it!!
I raised a human being from birth to full fledged adulthood!!
Now, there were others helping, of course. But 18 years ago as the doctor placed her in my arms, I had only one thought, and one alone….I just made a big mistake!
Not that we hadn’t waited with bated breath for her arrival, taking long walks counting down the days she would be with us. Her nursery was ready, her car seat was ready, her diaper genie was ready. No doubt, we were two 26-year-olds who were completely and totally ready!
And then they handed us this 7 pound 4 ounce tiny, human being and I honestly thought, there is no way I will keep her alive. This tiny creature was now wholly dependent on me and you know what, I just remembered, I’m really not that responsible. In fact, I’m kind of a mess, my Mom is totally right about me, and you want me to take her home?
Me, who can’t remember to water my plants or pay my rent on time.
Me, who has given away my last three dogs, because I don’t have time to walk them.
Me, who still relies on my Dad to change my oil and my Mom to remind me of my Grandmother’s birthday.
You people are giving this baby to me?! Are you insane, she will never make it!! I can’t take her home, in fact, I shouldn’t go home either. We should both stay here with all these smart nurses and doctors and you people should take care of both of us.
Barely sane enough to realize my crazy thoughts shouldn’t be verbalized, 48 hours later they let us walk out of the hospital with the tiny thing.
And so it began…..
I would watch her while she slept and then poke her for good measure to insure she was breathing. I fed her just like the baby books said (exactly like they said!) and surprisingly at her first visit, the doctor seemed happy with her results. And slowly, day by day, we sort of got the hang of it.
You feed her and she grows.
You teach her and she learns.
You love her and she loves you back.
Along the way, other people joined in to teach her calculus and Spanish, to teach her compassion and heartache, to teach her friendship and responsibility.
And before I knew it, she was walking across the stage to get her high school diploma and one week later she was on a plane to Nicaragua, with four other tiny humans who survived to adulthood with her, off to do some good.
And just like that, the Year of Madison is over and the Life of Madison is just beginning.