Friday, July 5, 2013


Way back when, there was a little girl with frizzy hair, crooked teeth and an independent spirit.  When she was just two, she would come out of her bedroom at 10:30 just as the Tonight Show theme was beginning (back when Johnny Carson hosted) and howl she couldn't sleep because we (her mom and dad) were too loud.  Off would go the television.  Blake and I would take our orders from our daughter and trundle off to bed in our now silent house.

At that point, we should have looked at the gene pool of the ancestors and realized what we were in for.  

This is the little girl who would strew her belongings from the front door to her room, from the bathroom to the living room, so that one never truly knew where she was, but always could discern where she had been.  She was the child most likely to forget homework, shoes, permission slips, but mostly, her lunch. And the pattern persisted:  car keys, cell phones.... The young woman with the wedding binder now manages a larger portfolio of enterprises: fund raisers, ball teams of all shapes, sizes, sex and ages, community improvement, tournaments, banquets, church programs....and that list doesn't begin to include what she does at work!  It is  somewhat endearing to me, her mom, that my duties still include picking up something left behind or finding something misplaced.  These are the ties that bind....

This is the girl who only gave up once that I recall. She might stumble or struggle, but she would persist.  The same person who sent her parents to bed is a force to be reckoned with when her energy and convictions converge like a laser on a target. Fortunately, this is a force for good, even if the target is beyond her reach.

The same girl who escaped her little town came back to help lift it up with sheer willpower just in case a baked potato bar wasn't  enough. The girl who would have her heart so easily broken is always tender hearted and loyal with her family, her friends.  She can be both the biggest critic and the biggest cheerleader for any endeavor...often simultaneously. She has always been honest, and forthright, but has tempered the hard edges with blessed ointments of subtlety and lenience as time goes on.  She wouldn't be the first to learn the ways of the world from the raising of children; aren't we all bigger hearted and broader minded after we've taken on the task of sculpting future adults?  Unlike cattle, our curious and energetic youngsters need  more room to roam than the loading chute.

I will never tire of giving thanks for the blessings of watching my children grow and become sincere, upright, honest, hardworking, and loving while somehow keeping alive a sliver of childlike innocence, whimsy, imagination, wonder and trust. 

Annie, happy happy birthday.

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