I started praying over my daughter, out loud, speaking promises into her life. We were cuddling and I was starting to fill up with all this oxytocin and just couldn’t help myself. I went for it, full out. Like T.D. Jakes on a real good Sunday.

“You are a woman of integrity, of honor, of grace! You will move mountains! You’re going to live a full life of adventure! You will laugh without fear of the future! You’ll give generously and freely, knowing God will take care of all of your needs! You will keep your room clean as a teenager and cut the sass down to a minimum! You will be brave in the face of fear and uncertainty! As a pre-teen, you will not be interested in wearing short shorts that go so far up your butt, it almost doesn’t seem humanly possible, and just know that if you somehow make your way into Hollister and find a pair, your father will light them on fire! He already told me that when I was pregnant with you, so just keep that in mind! May you be kind and loving to your sister, never allowing any strife to come between you! You will be grateful for the safe and reliable clunker we give you when you turn 16! May God give me the strength and wisdom to support your dreams! May you be so loved, you don’t take it for granted, but overflow onto everyone you meet! May you be kind to the cashier having a real hard time changing out the receipt tape! May you put your cart back where it belongs instead of hopping one wheel up on a median even though that’s what I do, but in my defense, Fresh Thyme’s parking lot is a hot mess! May you speak life into everyone you meet, never death! May you see the captivating beauty of your humanness, even without makeup, even when your pajamas get tight after Christmas …”

“MAMA!”

“May you be brave and bold enough to get a proper bra fitting by a stranger! Trust me, it’s awkward, but so worth it! May you draw close to God during your most difficult times! …”

“MOMMY!”

“What baby? What?”

“Shush. That’s enough now, thank you.”