E., my daughter was so beautiful Monday night. I can't believe she's my daughter. I could never have dreamed up a more beautiful person in my life. I never thought I did anything spectacular in my life, and there she was, last night, a beacon of love, warmth, caring, concern, beauty, empathy, friend - something I have never, ever, ever, ever expected or even thought to get from one of my children.

She called me to ask me to bring her ice cream. I told her I was in a terrible, crying, mood, and was not kidding. She said you'd better get over here then. She wouldn't take no for an answer. I brought her ice cream. And she listened to my story and hugged me. And she put the comedy channel on the TV. And showed me the new kittens who are just darling.

I left after a while and called her back on the phone to say thank you. And she told me how happy she is with her self - that she realized that she liked herself a lot last year, and was proud of herself. She told me silently, over these simple sounding words, that she had love to give from her heart, because I had put it there. As uncomfortable as that makes me feel - I think that this may be true.

And this year she has accepted her body and likes it, with its imperfections and she is very content. She told me that she keeps telling me this and someday I will believe her. I'm starting to, because I am looking at her and realizing she means it.

I asked her and she told me she had a good childhood, there were some bad things, but I made it good. She remembers playing a lot, and that she played all the time. She said I wouldn't let her watch TV so she had to play. She said she plays now whenever she feels like it.

She told me she knew I was always there for her. I never betrayed her except when she had pot and I told her if she gave it to me I wouldn't call the police but I did call anyway, I lied to her. I think she has forgiven me for that, her eyes were laughing when she told me. She told me about the time in after school care, that she organized the other children into a play based on a story she had read and she was proud of that fact.

I got the biggest gift in my life last night from the most wonderful person - I just can't believe she is really my daughter, and that I and her dad and everyone else in her life, somehow, someway, gave her enough to love herself so much at 19. This is a puzzle I just don't understand.

Do you think she did it just for the ice cream?