Well, as I sit here writing this on the evening of Saturday, April 24, I think back twelve years ago...Twelve years ago this moment I was in the Labor and Delivery room, dilated to about a 6, preparing to give birth to my first child.
Several hours later, at 1:51 am on April 25, 1998, my daughter was born.
Now, I've written before about the whole birth experience, so this year, I'm just going to tell you a bit about this "little" girl who is my oldest daughter.
Kaytlyn Elizabeth -- Katy -- came into the world nine days before her due date. She proceeded to be the baby with the worst case of colic I've ever seen (or heard, LOL).
She did everything early -- sitting up, crawling, walking, talking. By eighteen months, she knew every color or shape you could show her. By two years old she knew numbers (both the written number and the concept of what it represented) up to 12 (she loved clocks) and all the capital letters and many of the lowercase ones. She could spell and write her own name as well as about two dozen other words by the time she was two and a half. By three she knew the sounds every letter made, and at four she was reading books on her own.
When she was three years old, she developed a fascination with firefighters, though she called them "fider-fighters" :o). After that she decided she loved trains. But it was around the time she was six or so that her real passion came out -- animals. That child would love a tarantula as well as a puppy. She cannot pass an animal without stopping to look and pet if possible.
When she turned nine or so we discovered that she had a great artistic talent as well. She absolutely loves to draw anything and everything. She certainly does NOT get that talent from me! She dabbles in piano as well, but hasn't yet decided if she wants formal lessons or not.
At the end of last school year I did some testing on her and, having just finished the 5th grade, she tested in at a 9th grade competency level. Her response? "Yeah, that's cool."
She's my blue jeans and sneakers and ponytail girl. While most of the girls her age are getting into makeup and fashion and boys, she just sort of looks at them like they're crazy and curls up with a good book. She DOES get that from me, most definitely. The thing is, she's so gorgeous even without makeup or fancy hairstyles or dresses, it's almost scary!
She now stands 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches tall, weighs 110 pounds (every bit of it solid muscle, I swear), and wears size 7 shoes. Well, I'm 5'8", so in another year or two she'll be even taller than me! My mother (who is 5'4") says that now I'll know how she's felt for years! The growth chart prediction made by our pediatrician when Katy was little was that she would be 5'10". I'm thinking she'll be that....at least!
Katy is my introvert. She's much like me in that she's perfectly happy with only her own thoughts for company. I try to get her out with other people on occasion, but at the same time I don't want to push her into it too much. She is who she is, and that's OK with me!
She loves pizza (she can eat NINE pieces of a large pizza by herself -- and still not a bit of fat on her!) and tacos. In fact, she's requested tacos for her special birthday dinner. She loves pretty much anything chocolate and can down cream soda faster than me!
I have this memory of her when she was two or three years old. I got paid on Wednesdays each week, and each Wednesday we would buy a medium cheese pizza and rent a kids' movie and have pizza and movie night, just the two of us (that was before Tony came along!)
She is so much like me in so many ways that I just have to sit back and marvel at it. I can just almost see her mind working because she does and thinks things nearly exactly the ways I always have. She's reaching the point now where I have to learn to step back a little and acknowledge that she is growing up, maturing. I have to give her more responsibility in order that she can earn more rights. I have to begin letting go, little by little. *sniff sniff*
What else can I say? She is amazing. She's beautiful, so smart, artistic, creative, talented, caring, funny. I just love her more than words could ever say.
Happy 12th Birthday to my "little" girl!
12 years in pictures...