21 Years

IMG_1518`Twenty-one years ago today I became mother. I was not even twenty myself. I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me then that two decades after I gave birth to my first daughter that I would have not one but four amazing kids, who despite my shortcomings and at times poor life choices I have managed not to screw them up to much.

Over 20 years ago I brought my day old baby girl home to a trailer. Not the nice kind of trailer, like a double wide on acres lush green pasture but a few pieces of metal thrown together with car tires on the roof to keep it from blowing away. My daughter weighed over 6 pounds which in itself was a miracle as we were so poor my meals often consisted of popcorn and cherry Kool-Aid. I was so naïve that when the doctor told me I was due on January 26th I fully expected her to make her grand entrance that day, and she did. Not one of my other children were considerate enough to come on time.

If I could talk to my 19 year old self, I would tell her that “you are stronger then you could ever imagine”. I would tell her to give herself the gift of forgiving herself and others and the grace to move on and learn from her mistakes.

Twenty-one years ago my life was forever transformed as I entered into motherhood. At that time in my life I didn’t know a lot, what I did know with great certainty was that children are the greatest gift life has to offer. Happy birthday, Samantha. It is an honor to be your mom.



Gretchen Anthony

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