Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A momentous day.

Today indeed was a momentous day. It was the 18th anniversary of the birth of my first child. 18 years ago right about now I had a new baby and we were probably both asleep. Childbirth does that. My child was a sweet little girl with loads of hair. Her wonderful soft hair was a reddish blonde with little white tips on the ends. She either had sunburnt tips like a little sheep or she had frosted tips like she had been to a beauty parlor. The nurses loved putting little bows in her hair. She was perfect as all newborns are... in every way. Of course she cried when she was bathed. My father there on a visit supposedly 2 wks before she should have been born (according to the Dr. NOT me!) stood outside the nursery door and watched her first bath. He had stood outside the door to the birthing room and heard her first cry as she was born.

I made up my mind from when she was born... no daughter of mine would be wimpy. She would be strong, she would have her own ideas, and no one would push her around because she was a woman. Well, I think I seriously accomplished this goal. By the time she was two years old she knew her own mind. She knew that at a certain point she was past naps. They were sooo 1 yr old and passe... And she just wasn't going to have anything of it. I remember the day. I cherished her naptimes. I loved her naptimes... that time was MOMMY time. I could sleep, read, do paperwork, whatever needed doing best with no child around.. But she was not going to go to sleep. She was sitting on her bed in her room and she said, 'NO!'. And dear readers do not berate me. Motherhood does not come with instructions. Any parent knows we make mistakes we miss opportunities, there might have been something we should have done. And I missed my opportunity. It should have evolved into, quiet in the house time... Play quietly in your room time, but it did not. Instead it evolved into a different flow in the day. Naptime was over as I had heretofore known it.

When she was three she became a big sister and loved her little brother. She would rock his chair and hold him even though he was bigger than her little lap. He would want to do all that his sister did.

When she was five years old she was ready for kindergarten. I however, was not ready to simply hand my little girl over to teachers for half a day without me and I an educated teacher myself knew that only certain teachers would do... yes, I was probably every teacher's nightmare. I called the school in the spring to find out about the school. I interrogated the school secretary for a full 20 minutes before she suggested I meet with the school principal. The day arrived and I took my little 5 year old to the meeting. We went to visit the kindergarten playground. My little one ran to the climbing equipment and climbed all over. Then she looked down at the slide and decided it was too wet so she calmly removed her white sweater, sat on it and slid down. The principal announced HER ready for kindergarten... Mom was not, but my little determined 5 year old most definitely was ready to go!

One day in the spring of her Kindergarten year she read her first book. Fox on Socks. She might have read a word here or there, but 'Fox on Socks' was her first book. She was a Brownie, she sold girl scout cookies. We went camping. She played soccer, she laughed and cried. She had her own mind when it came to picking clothes. A parent picks their battles and quite frankly her ideas of colors and patterns were interesting and creative. She had a rabbit named Peter Benjamin and our old dog. At one point she had a dwarf hamster named 'Mia Hamm', for the soccer star she worshipped.

She raced through each year of school. I remember fighting over math homework in fifth grade and insisting she show her work. They had a great field trip to an old style sailing boat in fifth grade. The kids, the teacher, and some of us lucky parents stayed overnight on the ship, kept watch for a few hours and learned about the life of a sailor. Other elementary school field trips were the pumpkin patch in kindergarten. An ocean boat where they brought up sea life from the bottom and the kids got to examine it. They made clay pigs one year. The PTA sponsored Art Day. She dissected frogs in the gifted program both on the computer and in a lab situation. When she was in sixth grade she and her girl scout troop went to San Francisco and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge to bridge from Juniors to Cadettes. Hundreds of Girl Scouts were there and she loved it.

Somehow in 7th grade she decided she wanted a bearded dragon lizard. She tried asking. We said no. She had to write a persuasive essay in English so she wrote about why she should have a bearded dragon. We said no. However, sheer determination won through... She had to do a power point presentation for a class and she created one on Why she should have a bearded Dragon. We finally said yes. Thus a little baby dragon came to live in her room. Most dragons in history had sad endings so she searched for a strong name and came up with: Hammurabi, the Babylonian King who had written laws. She ran cross country in 7th and 8th grade.

In eighth grade she went to an extra class at school in the spring that a Dad who was an orthopedic surgeon gave for free. She learned to read an xray, an mri, she learned joint anatomy, and was the only girl to watch 3 different surgical procedures in the operating room. Up to that point she had wanted to be a Vet since 4th grade. Now she added Orthopedic surgeon to the list. She graduated in June that year from 8th grade and wore a sweet white dress with tiny white dots. The school had a dress code so I had to sew on ribbons on the straps to meet the 2 inch wide rule. They actually measured the straps. She had short hair and curled it. She went back to her elementary school to visit that day and hugged all her teachers.

She started on the High School Cross Country team in the summer training. She ran all 4 years of High school (including this one not yet done!) and lettered each year. High school has consumed her, but she has consumed it. She has done all that she could do and more and used every second of her day. She played frosh soccer in Freshman year and ran track as well as CC. She played spring soccer on the select team in Freshman and Sophmore year and Ayso soccer in Jr year. She studied voice all 4 yrs. She devoted herself to participating in History Day and went to Nationals twice, State 3 times. She learned to drive (only to have her temporary license run out and have to do it all again) licensing still to come... She has visited colleges, gone to movies, applied to colleges (16 total) and become a small computer wizard. She loves her friends, loves her family, and adores her animals (2 dogs, 2 lizards, and another 2 adopted hamsters ... Anna and Karenina). She is still my little girl and still sits in my lap. She is silly, she is serious. She wants to make the world a better place. She reaches out her hand to me to hold it. She walks arm in arm with me. She has become cognizant of others and tends to hold a lot inside. She has an iron fist that needs more of the velvet glove sometimes. She is driven, she is focused, she reads and is far more informed than I. She carries the constitution in her purse and on her phone. I don't wonder I know... she will give a positive effect to the world. She will leave it a better place. I love her so much and am amazed to have such fabulous daughter, She hugged her brother tonight and I could see how much she has grown up and yet... she is still a little girl and has a ways to go... miles to go before I sleep.