EVERY comment on this post means a life-saving vaccination will be donated to a child in need, thanks to the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Blogust campaign and Walgreens.
This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that educates, connects and empowers the championing of vaccines as one of the most cost effective ways to save the lives of children in the world’s hardest to reach places.
This year my daughter is 27 years old, and today is the 27th of August. That is no coincidence for sharing events in her life. I have written, albeit inconsistently, about her life since I started blogging almost nine years ago. When I began, she was in high school and just getting ready to go off to college. I suppose I’m not the typical mommy blogger in that I never discussed diapers or teething or the best ways to get my children to go to bed. Instead, I’ve chronicled the milestones in her life from graduating high school to moving away to college and then when she got her first job. I talk about my other children as well, but Mallory is my first. Everything I’ve done, parenting-wise, was practiced on her. Practice children can, as in our case, grow up to be rather incredible people. In parenting, I’ve made plenty of bumbling (and humbling!) mistakes, apologized for them, and moved along. She was a forgiving child who is now a woman who has passed many milestones and who is, unbelievably, getting ready to be married next month.
I was 15 when she was born, so some of the “milestones” along the way are a bit of a blur as I was scrambling while I learned to be a mother. Here’s a secret, though: Every new mother scrambles. That’s just the way it works. New moms read books, get advice, and then they scramble to raise children the best way they can. There are some milestones with Mallory that are vivid, though. For instance, I recall the day she took her first steps and how she was wearing a red frilly dress. And I can remember the best pediatrician we’ve ever had who talked and listened to her as the patient and didn’t make me do all the advocating because the doctor knew it was important to make a child, even at 5, responsible for her health.
When Mallory was getting her immunizations for kindergarten the doctor drew all over her arm with a marker first. Dr. Buhpathi drew a circle on Mallory’s forearm while she told her the story of a clown and Mallory didn’t know whether to look at the doctor regaling her with a tale or at the drawing so she vacillated between the two. When the doctor was almost done filling in the ears, eyes, and hair of her picture on my daughter’s arm she snuck in the tiny shot (the kind that look like a pushpin) and popped it in the middle for the nose.
It was magical to watch. Mallory didn’t know whether to cry because she just got a shot or laugh because Dr. Buhpathi tricked her and told her a story that took her mind off the pain of the (albeit tiny) shot.
I feel lucky that Mallory has had a good life and that she a really happy, loving person. The magic of Mallory is that she always surprises you. Even for something as simple as picking up the tab for breakfast on a Saturday after you’ve gone to the flower shop to order wedding flowers. We did that this past weekend and it felt like another milestone, another check-off on a list of things that I didn’t actually make or write down beforehand. Some of the things are just happening and we tick them off as we go along.
Some of them are the typical wedding things you do like having a bachelorette party and not minding when your brother crashes it so he can come and toast you and wear a tiny tiara on his head. Some of them are collecting your somethings old, new, borrowed and blue. Some of them are taking the best parts of weddings you’ve attended and creating the one that’s perfect for you as a couple.
Tick. Tick. Check.
See? The unexpected of being 27 and not knowing what this year would bring but still checking things off. I remember 27 being a really good year for me and she would probably admit that, while it’s been a hard year for other reasons, it’s still a really good one.
The wedding milestones we are passing have included getting engaged (in Paris!), picking out invitations together, coming up with the music playlist, throwing a bridal shower, going to her bachelorette party at a winery, and, of course, picking out her vintage, 1950s inspired wedding dress. These aren’t things I could have seen playing out when she was a little girl but I certainly hoped for them and that one day I would be a part of all these significant benchmarks in her life.
For Mallory, 27 has been amazing. 27 has been a man she loves, a job she adores doing, a house, good friends, and a supportive family that makes you realize what it is we’re doing here on this planet. It’s to love one another and do it ferociously and selflessly. If I had to guess whether or not she gets it at this age I’d say absolutely. 27 has been filled with choices and being able to live with them. 27, for Mallory, has been noticing the fleeting time we get with one another and not waiting to tell people you love them. 27 has been figuring it all out, taking a beat, and pushing forward. This year, 27 has been filled with the madness of planning a wedding and, more importantly, planning a marriage and a future with her longtime-boyfriend-now-fiancé, Kolin. 27 has been practicing writing what will be her new last name. 27 has been planning on expanding her family and making me a grandmother someday.
For me, it’s been a joy watching and participating in her 27th year. What a superb practice child she turned out to be.
Every single comment on this post counts so please leave one. Tell me about your 27 or your wedding or your milestones. Really. I’m going to read every single one!
For an added bonus, I’m linking the song “27” by Samiyam here in case you want to listen to some music. It’s really short, mellow and kind of awesome. Go listen, but leave a comment first and save a life!
During Shot@Life’s Blogust, 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about moments that matter. For every comment on this post and the 30 other posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines). A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. We can change this reality and help save kids’ lives!
Blogust is also part of a wider initiative proudly supported by Walgreens, the “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.” campaign. Walgreens has committed $500,000 to donate up to 3 million vaccines for those kids who need them most. Beginning September 3 through October 14, when you go to Walgreens to get your flu shot, Walgreens will donate a vaccine to the Shot@Life campaign!
(*Subject to availability. Some restrictions apply. See pharmacy for details.)
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