For many years, I had no desire to have a child. Certainly during my time in Nepal, India and Thailand being someone’s mother was no part of my plans. But then, after I had given back my vows as a Buddhist nun and two years into my marriage, the idea of a child seemed the right and natural one. And God gave us Elena.
Today, Elena turns twenty years old. The two year old who marched confidently into a twos/threes class at Brooklyn Friends School….the five year old who took a classmate who spoke no English under her wing…the eight year old who asked for Catholic religious education at a time I was still a Buddhist… the nine year old who traveled with no fear as an unaccompanied minor to Los Angeles to visit her friend Alix…the eleven year old who stood in front of a church full of people as the youngest cantor in our church…the fourteen year old who passed her black belt test in tae kwan do…the seventeen year old who went to senior prom – is now no longer a teenager. Somehow, somewhere along the way, she became an young adult.
My daughter is an amazing gift and I love her more than I would have thought it possible to love another person. And it is in that love that I get a glimpse of God’s unconditional love. I see how endless and intense my love for her is and realize – as great as that is – God loves her more. God loves me more. God loves all of us more.
Happy Birthday, my dear Elena. And thank you for being you.