Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Precious Daughter is 13

Dear Kathryn,

Thirteen years ago today, you came into my life. Your mother and I had spent the previous day getting ready for both sides of the family to come over for Mother's Day. The fridge was packed, the house was clean, and we were calling it a night. A few hours later, your momma was shaking me "It's time!" You still had a couple weeks to go, and we had experienced a few false alarms, so I was a little dubious.

However, within a few minutes, we were out the door. We had a half hour drive to the hospital where your mom worked. It was pretty clear driving at one in the morning and she had no anxiety about arriving in time. Still, if she was mid-contraction, and were approaching a red - she insisted I look both ways and then blow through it.

An hour later, you were born, and my life took on a whole new meaning. Your grandparents, aunts and uncles crowded into our hospital room to sing happy birthday to you. There were no cousins present yet, the only cousin you had at the time had been born a few months earlier and was halfway around the world.

I quoted scripture over you as I gave you your first feeding (you were a c-section and momma was still recovering). You started to turn blue. We were at Momma's bedside so I quickly handed you to her. She went into nurse mode and had you right as rain by the time I had called the nurses.

Your memories of our first neighborhood may be becoming vague now, but we were very blessed there. Most of the families around us had children who were a bit older than you and they became your playmates and caretakers. Pimenta Drive was a wonderful place to spend the first 6 years of your life.

Halfway through our time on Pimenta, your brother joined us. You two were friends from the start. As a father, there is nothing that gives me greater joy than knowing my children love each other.

You "foretold" Jacob's coming. Your mother and I were starting to believe that heaven may hold that we would simply have one child. As your mother was tucking you in one night, you declared in your two-year old voice "Momma, you going to have baby.... and I going to be big sister." Your Mama cried that night, but the next day when she went to work she had the doctor run some tests. You were right. The doctor was surprised that Momma suspected she was pregnant, she was so early. Momma had inside information.

When you were 6 we moved out to Utah. It was an adventure driving across the country with the four of us, luggage, and two cats stuffed in a Ford Taurus. It is hard to believe that we have been out here for 7 years, and that you were so little when we arrived. We pulled in on a Saturday and you started First grade on Monday.

You have always been comfortable talking to adults. Back in Michigan, you would often drift over to the neighbor's patios just so you could listen to the conversations. In short order, you seemed to know more people in our new neighborhood of Oquirrh Park and at church than your mother and I did.

Over the years you have become a determined student, a talented violinist, and successful actress. We have been blessed that you have had the influence of so many good and wonderful people.

Now here we are... you are 13!  I have to confess to a few mixed emotions on this day.  Within every parent, there is a desire to keep your little ones.... little.  You adore them so much at the stage where they presently reside, you can't help but want to keep them there.  Yet, there is also an awareness that at each new stage, your love for your child deepens.  This is because with every passing year Kathryn, you become more yourself.  Your soul has grown and your heart and mind have expanded so much from when I knew you at one.  You are so much more.... you.... and I love you.  So, I can't wait to see what comes next.

You are one of the most compassionate, empathetic, kind, and loving souls I know.... and you are only 13.  Continue to give love and kindness to all those around you, and always be grateful for those who journey with you along the way.

Happy 13th!



Redlefty said...

Great tribute -- happy birthday to her!

Don said...

What a great post. I can see you're a proud Pop! Happy Birthday Kathryn!

Bob said...

Welcome to the teen years and don't listen to the horror stories. They are truly some of the best. Precious little girl. Good job, Dad.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful letter...please wish Kathryn a very Happy 13th Birthday from her Aunt Carrie. I will never forget the night she was born. She brings much joy into the world.

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