I remember it so clearly. I woke up eagerly anticipating my yearly OB/GYN appointment. I was excited because I was going to share with the Dr. that we had decided to get pregnant, and that in fact I thought that I was pregnant. As the appointment continued, she informed me that I was not yet pregnant, and that my period was due any day. I am still not sure how she could figure that out, but I left very disappointed and deflated. It was really weird because maybe a week before, I had this really strange feeling in the middle of the night. It woke me up, and I wrote in my journal that I felt conception happen and that I was pregnant. After seeing the Dr., I wasn’t quite sure. Two weeks went by and still no period. After three negative pregnancy tests, I decided what’s one more. So I took the test very haphazardly, and started doing something else. When I returned to look at it…it was positive. OMG, I screamed. I ran into the living room to tell my husband, and he said how do you know??? I said the two lines mean pregnant. He said, “Let’s get a different brand just to make sure”. So I went out and got the EPT (error proof test), and they were all positive…WE WERE PREGNANT.
Instantly upon realizing I was pregnant, I felt special. The sun shined over me during my whole pregnancy. The angels literally sang as I performed my regular activities like grocery shopping or washing clothes. God chose me to be a mom and I was floating through life and pregnancy with this angelic glow. On February 19, 1998, Amber Imani Booker was born, and from the moment I saw her I fell in love with this beautiful creature that God gave to me to care for and raise. I never knew love like that before…and experienced it after the birth of each of my children. Deep, intense, terrifying, amazing LOVE. She was a perfect little buttercup in the hospital. All the nurses commented on how sweet she was, and I just smiled bursting with pride. We brought her home to family and friends who were as taken with her as I. Our first night home was perfect until about 3:00am. She cried for about 2-3 hours for no apparent reason. I just didn’t get it. This was not how my angelic story was supposed to continue. From that night on, she cried every night for about three months from 8:00pm – 12:00am, and I just didn’t understand why the angels weren’t singing anymore. I guess that was God’s way of bringing me back to earth and socking me with the reality that motherhood is not angelic, nor do you hear beautiful music as you make it through each day, each age, or stage. Some days are grueling and full of many tears and heartache…but worth every minute.
Twelve years later, my Amber Imani, is a young girl approaching young womanhood. Although she is still perfect in my eyes, over the last twelve years, through each stage; the toddler years, kindergarten, grade school, and now middle school there is always some obstacle or incident that reminds me that she is human, and so am I. What makes Amber Imani so amazing is that her imperfections are what make her so special. During the toddler years, she ate wood chips and bit a kid…What? Not my child? After intense counseling from my mother in-law, I made it through those first bumps in the road. Then kindergarten came, and the teacher informed me that Amber was struggling with focusing and staying on task. Mom went into panic mode, while Dad was like please…she should see some of my students. Well as most of you know, Amber’s mom is quite “extra”, so we have gone over and above using strategies to help keep her on track. Although she has gotten frustrated with herself and more so me, she has done everything in her power to compensate for those areas, and continues to excel in school as an honor roll student in gifted classes. Amber is one of the most determined people I know. When she resolves to do something that is important to her, trust me it will get done. Of course extra Mom and Dad are always there pushing her along, but she does it. When I look at her, I am in awe of the confident, beautiful, passionate young person that she is. Although I see a lot of myself and my husband in her, there is so much of her that is just who she is and what God has blessed her with. She has a compassion for people and their hearts like no other person I know. She is very perceptive, and seems to know exactly what you need just when you need it the most. She is an awesome friend, and often times her friends come to her for advice or just a friendly ear to listen to their problems, and boy do kids experience their share of problems these days. Amber reminds me of the character, “May”, in The Secret Life of Bees”, where the hardships of her peers and family really affect her, and she sometimes has a hard time letting them go. She so wants the world to be this euphoric place of harmony and happiness (I have no idea where she gets this from), and when the realities of our world touches her world, it doesn’t sit right with her. Her middle name simply means “Faith”, and because of her special light, raw talent, and determination; I have faith that her spirit will do much to add more sunshine to our world. I also believe she will be a massive agent of change as she discovers her place and purpose.
Amber exudes confidence, which I have to thank my husband for. He began teaching her African American History and all kinds of history since she was in the cradle. Since she could talk, he showed her how to shake a person’s hand with confidence and introduce herself looking people in their eyes. At her young age, she can work a room and charm most people of all ages. Sometimes I just sit back and watch her and think…”WOW”. She loves acting and is awesome at public speaking, again much like her father, who is a dynamic speaker. My heart still pumps triple time and the sweat falls down my back every time I have to speak in public. Whenever Amber has to do something where speaking in public is involved, I will ask her, "are you nervous", and she simple says, "no", and does her thing. Again, most times, I sit back and I am astonished that this magnificent young person came from me.
As you can see, I adore my first born. As she celebrates her twelfth birthday, I continue to thank God for creating such a gift for me and my husband to raise and enjoy. She is not only a gift to us, but also to everyone else who is touched by her remarkable spirit. My wish for her is to continue to be true to herself, her beliefs, and her values. I also wish for her the ability to accept others through their imperfections. This is something that we are working on, because Amber holds the bar high not only for herself, but for others in her life. We are working on teaching her that God gives us the ability to make choices, and that we will not always make the “correct” choices, but we have to forgive ourselves and others when mistakes happen. Recently, she experienced a situation where she made the wrong choice, and had to make things right with two of her best friends. I had to do very little parenting, because she was so distraught at making the wrong choice, that she did everything (more than was needed in my opinion) to make it right. Again, I sat back and thought…”WOW”.
I admire my daughter already, and she has only just begun her journey. This piece is for her, so that she knows that mommy (and Daddy) is her biggest fan. I believe that she was brought into this world for a phenomenal purpose, and I value her as a person more than she can possibly know. I look forward to watching her grow into the young woman she will become, and I look forward to the friendship we will have as she becomes an adult. For now though…although we are tight as thieves…I am mommy!
Happy Birthday Amber Imani!
I love you with my whole heart!