Today my younger daughter, Lauren, turns 21. My mind is swimming with a million memories and I can’t think of anything else to write about. I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. It was a Saturday night, around 9 PM when I felt the first signs of discomfort as I watched The Golden Girls with my husband and older daughter. By the time it was 9:30 there was no mistaking the discomfort for labor pains. They were getting pretty intense, my body was shaking. After calling the doctor and dropping my older daughter at my mother’s, we headed for the hospital. I told the nurse to please make sure the doctor gets to the hospital soon because my babies come fast. Five hours of excruciating labor pains later she was born. I was groggy from whatever was in the IV. I saw her, but I was out of it. I told my husband, who was holding her, make sure you memorize her face so we’ll know if they mix her up with another baby!
She was always a sweet and lovable baby. She kept herself amused and loved her big sister. I knew they would have a special bond from the moment I brought her home. I laid the baby on the couch and my older daughter said something. Immediately the baby turned towards her voice. That bond remained throughout their childhood.
Lauren has always brought us joy and happiness. She has always been quiet and shy, but many times the things she says are very funny. I was very touched one day, when she brought her autograph book home from middle school. I was expecting to see all the silly rhymes and sayings you see in every autograph book. Instead, I read page after page of warm sentiments from all her friends. They spoke of what a good person she was, how she helped them, and how much they would miss her after graduation. She always seemed to touch people’s hearts in her own quiet way, even her peers. Reading that little book brought tears to my eyes.
She has always conducted her life in ways that have filled us with pride. She is not a complainer. She accepts what life throws at her and deals with it like a trooper. As a student, she has always excelled in all her classes. She works hard, studies and tries her best. She graduated high school in the top 7% of her class, got a half scholarship to college and is an honor student in a very difficult Medical Technology Program. She is now a junior with 18 months to go before graduating. I am amazed when I look at her textbooks and notes. The material not only seems impossibly difficult, but there is so much of it. She spends time studying every day, including weekends. It’s not fun for her, but she does it so she can graduate and have a career. She is focused. She is amazing!
Her disposition is always even, she never argues. She has always done whatever I have asked of her. She is every mother’s dream daughter, but she is mine. I have been blessed to have given birth to her, to love her, to watch her grow every day into the young woman she is today. I know that she will continue to touch other people’s lives and they will love her because she has the sweetest nature. But, she is my heart. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her.
Happy 21st Birthday Lauren! I hope this day and this year are as special as you are. There is no one like you in this world. I love you with all my heart.