I can’t believe I have a thirty year old child!
today at 6:30 am
The date: September 21, 1990. The time: 6:30 am. The location: Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Anaheim, California.
Making her first appearance in the world is my daughter.
When the doctor said the baby is a girl, I was surprised because we were sure the baby was going to be a boy. The name we had picked out, Andrew Ryan, became obsolete. I cut the umbilical cord and then held my daughter for the first time. I put my finger in her hand and she grasped it tight. Oh man, that was it for me. I was hooked for a lifetime.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost exactly thirty years to the second of my child’s birth. Where did the time go?!!
So many things have occurred in that time period that it’s hard to know where to start, but I’ll give it a try.
Two years after her birth, her sister and her partner in crime came along. It led to years of fighting that rarely stopped, and years of love, which continues to this day.
When she turned five, we had moved from California to Chicago. The school deadlines were different and I had to tamper with her birth certificate to get her into Kindergarten and first grade. One of my proudest parenting moments.
As she got older, I coached her basketball team. It’s always a wonderful experience trying to lead ten or so middle school girls. OY!!!
On her birthdays, our family celebrated at the Olive Garden. REALLY!! Breadsticks with dipping sauce, tiramisu, ice tea and the waitstaff singing the OG birthday song.
Like any family relationship, there are highs and lows. The breakup of her parent’s marriage wasn’t easy. There were deaths of much loved grandparents and her half-sister. Definite disagreements about religion and school choices. And, don’t get me started about her move to San Francisco at age twenty. Oh yeah, did I mention that my kid lived down the street from the former home of the Grateful Dead, in Haight-Ashbury? Pretty cool, right?!
But, even with the disagreements and the distance, the love never stopped. That takes precedence over everything else…and always will.
So, back to this thirty thing…..
Last January, before the pandemic, we were together, waiting in line to enter a John Cale concert. First off, how many of you in my age range have a child who would buy you John Cale concert tickets as a present? Anyway, I took a look at her and said, “I can’t believe I have a child who is turning…”, and she stopped me before I could get the number out of my mouth. Apparently, she wasn’t ready to believe it either.
Well honey, ready or not, that day has arrived! The good news is we’re still here to celebrate the occasion! The better news is the best is yet to come…..I truly believe that!
Tonight, we’ll be dining at the Olive Garden again. REALLY!! Like life itself, some things change while others remain the same. Some of the faces may be different and the ice tea will probably become a glass or five glasses of wine, but there will also be breadsticks with dipping sauce, tiramisu and the singing waitstaff.
Happy birthday my dear child. I love you! We’ll try to keep the number
thirty on the downlow.
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