Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Princess

Dearest Daughter,

How can it be that you turn 20 today? Our little fairy tale Princess has grown into a lovely young woman. It sounds cliché to say, but the time has flown by so fast. It seems like yesterday that you were a wee one, pushing your own stroller around and learning to walk. Saying “doogie, doogie, doogie” as you puttered around the house. Everyone thought we let you watch reruns of Doogie Houser MD, but no. That was just how you warmed up your vocabulary building.

If I am to follow suit with your brother’s birthday post, I would detail your birth story here. Instead, just the highlights. One, because your birth was 19 hours. Two, I had unwittingly hired a douche bag for an obstetrician, and, let’s just say we are both lucky to have survived him. A few years after he did everything to botch your birth and scar me physically and emotionally, he did far worse to someone else, was sued, and had his medical license taken away. So. We are both survivors.
You were in a hurry to get here. I was not due for another month and when my contractions started I thought they were stomach cramps. I had one day left of work before my maternity leave and was really looking forward to that last month off.
However, when we got to the hospital, my water broke and you seemed determined to make it into this world on that day. I should have realized your anxiousness was a wonderful sign, as you were and are someone who embraces life fully.
When you were born you were only five pounds six ounces. Then, you had the gall to lose two more ounces before we left the hospital. You were so tiny and fragile looking that your father and I thought ourselves completely inadequate to take care of you. But, the hospital sent us on our way.
We called you peanut and put you in the crease of a chiropractic pillow next to me in bed.
The first couple of months were a little dicey. You cried. A lot. It was summer in Hawaii, and I remember sweating bullets, bouncing you, walking you. The pediatrician said you were colicky, but didn’t seem to know what that meant. Let’s just say he did not explain it very well and certainly had not the greatest suggestions for getting rid of the colic. No one did. You let us know eventually what it was that was pissing you off.
At a little after two months of age, we figured out you did not like to be “swaddled.” It did not make you more secure, like I had been told. It did not make you sleep better. It made you hot. As soon as you were allowed to sleep in a diaper and a tiny, thin t-shirt, you slept straight through the night.
The world, and our family, was a better place for it.
From an early age you had a phenomenal imagination and a gift for seeing things that others could not. You and I had a lot of fun with this. The hedge around the house we lived in for the first four years of your life was the home to a lot of imaginary pets. Mostly Winnie the Pooh and his friends. I thought your imagination a wonderful thing and thoroughly enjoyed encouraging you.

I was a little surprised to learn that not everyone shared my view. There was that time in your “moms time out” program. I had enrolled you so you could socialize with other kids (since I was the first of my friends to embark on this parenting journey). It was a co-op program, where the moms rotated as teacher aides. Once, when I was helping, all ten of you two year olds had been taken out to the park by the school. The hedge around the park made the one at our house look like a Japanese dwarf garden. About eight feet tall and three feet wide, the hedge was like a jungle.

I followed you as you meandered. If Winnie the Pooh and friends lived in the dwarf version, what would you find here?

“Ohhh. Mommie look. This is where the hippopotamus sleeps.”

“I see. Are there giraffes too little miss?”

“Yes, there are. Come I’ll show you.”

Slowly the other children heard you and peered inside the hedge from where they were playing on the grass.

“Where’s the giraffe?” said one little girl as she peeked her head inside.

“N says it’s in here,” replied a tiny boy with glasses who was already following you around. “She says there are hippos and elephants and bears. Come.”

I thought I was the best mom’s helper ever, encouraging the other two year olds to take part in your fanciful world. Then I heard the teacher’s voice.

“Everyone come out from there right now. Out I say.”

A little one peeped his head out while I was waiting in the wings of the shrubbery, feeling a bit like a two year old myself.

“Miss J. N sees zoo animals in here. She is showing them to us. Can we please play in here?”
Once we emerged out of the hedge, it was explained to me that there could be glass or all kinds of unforeseen dangers in there, not to mention it made it difficult for the teacher to keep count of the ten two year olds. At the time the preschool teacher made me feel like I might not make it as a mom, but in retrospect, I’m glad we let you be your imaginative little self.
You have a lot more courage than people give you credit for. You are not a big risk taker in the same ways as your brother. About some things, you are downright cautious. But both your brother and I remember the time you read the Sunday paper at the age of six and noticed the open call for to Kill a Mockingbird. Then talked me into taking you down to the audition. I was the opposite of a stage mom and knew nothing about the theatre. The only preparation you had was me renting the movie for you.
The auditorium at the audition must have had 100 people in there. When they called you up to read, your brother (three at the time) and I shrank down in our seats with our stage fright for you. But you nailed it. Southern accent and all. You were also one of the only six year olds who could read fluently.
You didn’t get the part but you never quit. Here you are, 13 years later, majoring in music and working it out in community theatre.
You are an old soul. You have always been kind beyond your age group and pretty much the rest of the world. You are forgiving. You are loving and fun-loving.
You’re a little too nice. But your brother, your dad, and I are watching out for you. In case someone tries to take advantage of that niceness before you get your fierce game on.
Happy birthday to a beautiful young woman.

Look out world.

Love,

Mom
For more spins on kids, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.

47 comments:

only a movie said...

Happy Birthday, N!

Congratulations Mom for turning out such a lovely and kind young woman.

Your post has me a little teary... :-)

otin said...

I love the whole Life in pictures! Very touching!

Jeanne said...

What a beautiful daughter you've raised -- thanks for sharing her life with us!

darsden said...

Happy Birthday Girl..almost legal!

Wow, Mom what a wonderful tribute to your daughter. I love it and enjoyed hearing of her growing up into this beautiful woman she is becoming...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...no indeed not far at all!

Jan said...

Oh, Psuedo - she is beautiful.

Happy Birthday, Girl. Happy Birthday.

Michele said...

Happy Birthday Sweetie! You are absolutely beautiful.

Kristan said...

Another lovely tribute. :) Happy birthday to your dear daughter.

Hit 40 said...

Happy Birthday! Your mom had some wonderful words of tribute to you....

Old soul, kind, forgiving!! Outstanding attributes that will take you very far in life.

Joanie M said...

Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter!

Jack said...

Awww! 20... such a bitter-sweet age for a mother.

20 cheers to your daughter today :)

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Ack! My daughter just turned 20 also. How is it possible? It's killing me! : (

Sandi said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love the pictures and the story. My kids love their birthday posts. I hope your princess loves hers too.

blueviolet said...

She's absolutely lovely! Happy Birthday to your daughter!

Your love for your children is so apparent and I absolutely love that about you. :)

blognut said...

Another beautiful birthday post!

Sprite's Keeper said...

So beautiful! Both her and the words honoring her! You have two wonderful kids and they have a wonderful mom who clearly loves them and would move the world for them. You're linked!

daughter said...

aw thanks mom. :) you made me cry.
i told the story about me crying at the card this morning and my friends laughed at me.
love you!
-n <3

midlife slices said...

What a beautiful birthday present you just gave to this equally beautiful young lady. You're a great mom. :)

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Happy Birthday to a very special young woman! Pseudo, this was a lovely tribute to your darling daughter.

Fragrant Liar said...

Happy 20th, N! You are a gorgeous young woman. I love these birthday posts in pictorial and story. They give me such warm, happy feelings. So, thanks N for having this birthday. ;)

Good job, Mama Pseudo.

smiles4u said...

Happy Birthday N! What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful daughter. I hope that this was truly a wonderful day of celebrating her and all that she is! Hugs, Lori

Pastor Sharon said...

Happy Birthday baby girl! You have a large canvas to paint all your dreams on in this world! Go after them!

As far as being a Mom, you had it nailed, letting her be and use that imagination! She sounds like a lovely daughter! And you sound like you are a lovely mother!

I'm glad you survived Dr. Botch-it-up! That sounded like a horrible experience!

mo.stoneskin said...

Lovely little tribute, you sound like one proud, admiring mummy!

JanMary said...

Hi from SITS and N Ireland.

Beautiful tribute and lovely daughter.

Congrats!

Kathy said...

I love all the pictures, Happy Birthday N, what a fine young lady with a pretty cool mom. :)

Shadow said...

she's grown up beautifully!!! happy birthday!

hillgrandmom said...

Birthday wishes to your beautiful daughter.

IB said...

A sweet, sweet post. A lovely young woman. Congratulations to you both.

Amy said...

This is such a great idea. You did this with your son also. Do you have three children? I know you get sent one to prom and that was a daughter. So I am not sure this is the same one you are wishing a Happy Birthday to. I always tear up when I read this. My little one is almost 2.

Debbie said...

Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter. You should be very proud of that young woman!

Donna Gotlib said...

Lovely. Happy Birthday to both of you.

Mary K Brennan said...

What a wonderful tribute to your daughter. Good job Mom!

The Blonde Duck said...

That's wonderful. How sweet!

Mrsbear said...

Happy Birthday to your lovely young lady. She sounds like a special kid...although you might have had the teensiest bit to do with that. ;) Loved the magical hedge story, what's a little broken glass when paired up against such a huge imagination.

lizspin said...

Beautifully written post for a beautiful daughter!

Creepy said...

What a great birthday post.... she's just gorgeous...you know that.

Happy Birthday!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Twenty years old. Don't you sometimes wonder how it could have gone by so quickly - even though some days seemed like years. How lucky you are to have a daughter.

Casey said...

Again with the awesome post with pictures perfectly placed!

Happy Birthday! Pseudo, it sounds like you raised the exact type of confident/caring daughter that I'm trying to raise on my end. Nice work!

Brigit said...

Thanks for the reminder of just how wonderful it is to have raised a child. It's a beautiful tribute, full of love.

starrlife said...

I love your b-day posts! She is beautiful- of course and lucky to have such a great mom too!

Joanna Jenkins said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! The photos show what a beautiful, happy young woman she is!

Lilly said...

Oh what another great post. Your daughter is indeed a beautiful young woman. Watch out world!!

gigidiaz said...

Your princess is gorgeous! Lucky mom!

Good spin.
I spun too!

sherri said...

She is gorgeous and sounds amazing. She must be so glad to have a Mom like you.

creative kerfuffle said...

i know i'm late to the party on this but this post and your daughter are so beautiful.

creative kerfuffle said...

i know i'm late to the party on this but this post and your daughter are so beautiful.

msprimadonna67 said...

What beautiful pictures of such a lovely young lady. Hope her birthday was one to remember.

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