Five things I learned from my daughter Emma, who is 11 today:

1. Our capacity to love is boundless. It struck me as I held her after
she was born that it's so easy to love—why do we complicate things?
Also, it struck me that there's plenty of love to go around. Just
because you love one child with your whole being, doesn't mean you
can't love a whole lot more.
2. I am more patient and grounded than I ever thought I could be.
3. If you don't feel passionately about having kids, perhaps you
shouldn't have them. I am tested ever day—usually by Emma. If I was
ambivalent, I don't think we could make it.
4. You see yourself reflected in your kids all the time. If you don't
like parts of yourself, you can bet those parts will show up and haunt
you through your children. Not necessarily in a bad way.
5. My husband is a really good guy, the depth of which I could not have
known until we became parents. When Emma was born, I saw him open up in
ways I never had before. You see, parenting IS a challenge, but it's
also a gift, often in unexpected ways.

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