Danika the 5 year old:

“Mom, this is what I asked for! You got it for me!”, she screamed at her birthday party this weekend. I’m tough, I won’t cry, I can’t cry, I chanted to myself as she was opening her billions of presents. She was sitting there in her pink polk-a-dot bikini opening presents so quickly you would think they were going to disappear! Except when it got to presents that were wrapped with pretty paper, with those she stopped and carefully tried to peel the tape back so she could save the paper. A few weeks before her birthday as I was tucking her in for bed we were chatting about our day and then I remembered I hadn’t found out what she wanted for her birthday that was around the corner. So she told me she wanted a boy barbie because she didn’t have one, some dress up clothes, and a Polly Pocket Camper that she had seen advertised. Well, she named a lot more then that but those are the only ones I remembered. So as I walked through Target in search of gifts for my baby, there on the shelf was one last Polly Pocket Camper. For a moment I considered not buying her the polly pocket camper because she has way too many polly pockets that I think I could run a village with them if I needed to. But I decided it was her birthday, not mine, so I would get it. Seeing her face and hearing that she was so excited that she got exactly what she asked for made me so happy. All year long she tells me little things she wants for her birthday when it comes around and I say, “I’ll think about it”. I don’t ever say yes because then she will ask me every day if I’ve gotten it yet, and I don’t say no because she can instantly make her eyes well up with tears. When she got home from her party, guess what was the first thing she asked her daddy to open for her? Yes, her PPC. Taylor even got her some other Polly Pocket stuff as well. So I sat down with her and she let me be the “pretty” one because she said I looked like that one.

Most of you know my story, but for those that don’t, here it is:

One early morning a little over 5 and a half years ago before school my junior year, I went into the south Fred Meyer with tears in my eyes and bought a pregnancy test. I walked up to the counter to pay and couldn’t even see straight. After I took the test I cried, for hours. I skipped all my classes that day and picked my best friend up for lunch to tell her the “bad” news. Very ironically, she had bought a Kenny Chesney CD that day and while we were in the car thinking and crying, one of the songs came on.

“All he could think about was I’m too young for this.
Got my whole life ahead.
Hell I’m just a kid myself.
How’m I gonna raise one?

All he could see were his dreams goin’ up in smoke.
So much for ditchin’ this town and hangin’ out on the coast.
Oh well, those plans are long gone.

And he said,
There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.
Might as well kiss it all good-bye.
There goes my life…

A couple years of up all night and a few thousand diapers later.
That mistake he thought he made covers up the refrigerator.
Oh yeah… He loves that little girl.

Momma’s waiting to tuck her in,
As she fumbles up those stairs.
She smiles back at him dragging that teddy bear.
Sleep tight, blue eyes and bouncin’ curls.

He smiles…..
There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.
I love you, daddy good-night.
There goes my life.

She had that Honda loaded down.
With Abercrombie clothes and 15 pairs of shoes and his American Express.
He checked the oil and slammed the hood, said your good to go.
She hugged them both and headed off to the West Coast.

And he cried,
There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.
I love you.
Baby good-bye.

We just kind of looked at each other awkwardly. “Is this seriously on right now?” I thought to myself. But I couldn’t even imagine a good outcome to this situation. In the past I have been hurt by friends, but it was that week that I found out how bad it can actually hurt when a trusted friend doesn’t have your best interest at heart. The news spread like wildfire. Everybody knew that I was pregnant and I did get a few weird looks, but I had a lot of people support me and tell me that they were proud of me for not having an abortion. I distinctly remember a girl yelling my name in the parking lot and running towards me, I turned around to see a girl I hadn’t ever said more then 2 words to. She gave me a big hug and we talked for a few minutes. I don’t even remember what she said, something along the lines of her admiring me for keeping my baby, but it wasn’t her words that touched me. It was that she didn’t even know me but made an effort to show me love when I felt like I least deserved it. Her hug helped heal my heart a little bit. Towards the end of the year it was getting difficult to fit my belly in the desks, but thankfully school was almost out. Getting closer towards the end of my pregnancy I was so scared. When I would feel a kick it felt like another reminder that I messed up and the world could see. I felt like a failure.

But on August 9th 2005, after hours of laboring, I heard her cry for the very first time. It is etched in my memory where it will stay forever. Somebody placed her in my arms and I didn’t even know what to think. I had never even held a newborn! She started crying again and I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be a good mother. But I started talking to her and she quieted down. My first time feeling like a real mom! After we got home from the hospital and we were laying in bed I just stared at her. Her eyes were exactly like mine, and her skin was so soft. I didn’t catch on to being a mother right away. I remember the first time I left her alone in my room in her bassinet, I packed the baby monitor around with me the whole time and checked on her at least 3 times the first hour. I remember when she started giving me those big open mouthed kisses, and her first word, “Hi”, and the time she stuck gummy bears between her toes and pointed at them and giggled. Remembering back to that day in the car listening to that song, I now see there was hope there all along. He was right, she does have my heart.

A few years ago, I read this quote:

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  -Elizabeth Stone

Any mother can relate to this. Having my daughter changed my life in more ways then I can count, but I am a better person because of her. I often wonder why the Lord blessed me with her. In high school I know everyone used to think, “I’m so glad that’s not me”, but now I would guess people feel the opposite.

One of my friends recently had a baby and we were talking about how hard it is to be a new mother, and she told me that she had no idea how I did it by myself when I was in high school. I agree, I have no idea. All the odds were against us, but my mom was there for us. She helped me take care of her, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without my mom. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who love and support me unconditionally, who build me up, who strengthen me.

Today, my little baby is 5 years old. She will never be a baby again. I use to look forward to all the things she was going to do instead of cherishing where she was at. I learned my lesson, I am not looking in the future anymore, because the future holds teenage drama, bird’s and the bee’s talks, and heart break’s over stupid boys… I am enjoying that she is my sassy, gorgeous, happy, silly, confident, loving, and adorable 5 year old. In a year I will cry when she turns 6, but I am confident that I will be able to say that I took the time to enjoy her at this age.

Did I mention her middle name Shae, means “gift”? That’s not why I chose it at the time, but looking back I realize I couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate middle name. My precious gift from God showed me my purpose in life, why I was created. I was created to be a mother. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have her. Sometimes I tell God that he really knew what he was doing when he gave me her. The Lord teaches us lessons sometimes in the midst of our pain, it forces us to listen. I am so thankful to have learned this lesson.

Danika Shae, you are too young to read this now, but someday I hope you know how you changed my life. You are the best girl I know and you are my hero. You have taught me to love and be loved. I am a better person because you are in my care. I promise to always be there for you and to build you up. I know someday you will change the lives of others, because of who you are. Thank you for always loving me back and telling me I’m the best mom, even when I know that’s not true. For the past 5 years I have sang to you one song because I didn’t know any others. You are my sunshine, Danika Shae, my precious gift, I love you!

11 Responses to “Danika the 5 year old:”
  1. Robin Opal says:

    Holy cow Kesh. Thanks for making me cry at 7 in the morning! I love you so much- this is pretty much the sweetest thing I’ve ever read. You are amazing and pretty much the greatest person I know. Thank YOU for being such an inspiration to me as we take this crazy journey called motherhood together. I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, but you have taught me so much when it comes to being the best mother I can be. I truly do admire you.
    Enjoy this day… And then you can cry with me in February when Gabe turns 5!

  2. Taylor says:

    You are the best mom ever. I’m so happy my children have you as their mother. I’m so happy I have you as my wife. You never cease to amaze me. I love you.

  3. Carly Miller-Werben says:

    Kesh, tears in my eyes, I love you.

  4. Sarah Fay says:

    Good cry @ work trying to hold it in. What a beautiful life story… and life is what she has given you, you are so alive always- your spirit always welcoming me into your home and more importantly your heart. You are the best- best friend a girl could ask for and it is easy to say this because it is so true – like mother like daughter, all those wonderful things you just said about your daughter are complete reflections of your beautiful soul, your beautiful personality, and your beautiful self. Thank you for writting this. I had the best time with you and your family this weekend and your friends that you have allowed me to adopt :) I love you with all of my heart XoXo Love, your best friend and Auntie Sarah

  5. Sarah Fay says:

    you should def. print this and add it to her scrapbook so when she is going through it later in life she will stumble apon it :)

  6. Jennifer Mendoza says:

    I’m crying! I love it. <3

  7. Kesh! Your pictures are amazing and your stories make me cry! I’m so very, very proud of you….and your sisters. I love You auntie-m

  8. msspotts says:

    Im crying in a coffee shop reading this… Love you guys. Im so proud.

  9. msspotts says:

    Oops.. thst was from Sharaya… Im logged into Allys account..

  10. I’m sending this onto all of my friends… Dad and I couldn’t stop crying and we are so blessed to have such a beautiful daughter who adores her babies… Nakesha, we never realized just how hard the whole process was for you… Please forgive us for not holding your arms up better… We would do things a lot differently if we could but we can’t… So, we will make it up to you by offering you free babysitting for the rest of your life!!! We are so PROUD of you… Now go out and shimmer and shine as you write to other parents and teens… Tell your story and make the world sit up and take heart in loving and supporting their babies…

    • Terri Donovan says:

      I’m so glad your mom sent this to me. Life can carry many trials but the Lord never gives us more than we can bear. We can turn trials into a pathway for growth and Danika is a living example that wonderful things can come from facing our challenges with trust in the Lord.
      It was great to see you this summer. You are a wonderful mom. And you are very blessed to have great parents who love and support you. Life is good.

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