Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Baby Turns 22 Today…

Twenty-two years ago I left for the hospital, after The Golden Girls ended. It was a great episode, but I couldn’t enjoy it because the indigestion I thought I had, was getting worse by the minute. I called the doctor, but he didn’t think I was in labor. Nevertheless, I had my husband take my older daughter to my mother’s house. In the few minutes he was gone, the pains had gotten worse and I was shaking. We got to the hospital at around 10:30 or 11 and at 3AM my baby daughter made her entrance into the world. She really came in with a bang, I’m just glad she was in a hurry and the labor was a few short hours.

I can tell you that the labor pains were the only pains that this child has ever caused me. From the moment of her birth until today, she has always been an angel. It’s nothing that I did, it’s just her nature. I noticed very early on that people found her very lovable. She didn’t really start speaking until she was three and a half, but there was something about her that melted people’s hearts. She was always a quiet girl, good natured, calm, and sweet. Nothing bothered her. She knew how to keep herself busy playing from when she was very little and played equally well with other children.

She always did well in school, in fact she excelled, but was always very modest about it. She never considered her accomplishments anything special. She never wanted to be the center of attention or have any attention focused on her. You know when kids graduate middle school they all want an autograph book so their friends and teachers can write in them. When I read hers, it brought me to tears.  There were no stupid sayings on any of the pages. None. Instead, on page after page, her friends wrote what a wonderful person she is, how much they enjoyed their time with her, wishing her the best of luck in high school etc etc. Again, just like when she was a baby, I saw how she melted people’s hearts in her own quiet way. And these were 14 year old kids writing these warm and loving words, that’s what surprised me the most. The same thing happened when she graduated high school. I looked through her yearbook and a different set of kids had filled up the pages with kind and thoughtful messages about how nice she was and how much she had helped them. I knew she was my angel, but I didn’t know everyone else could see it too.

This will be a big year for her. She is turning twenty-two today and in four months she will be graduating from college. When she started college she didn’t know what she wanted to do. She had started out wanting to be a vet because of her love of animals. But we soon learned that becoming a vet would be a long shot for her and we needed another plan. Although she was good in most every subject, the only one she enjoyed was science. I never knew she was that interested in science. We went to the open houses and literally stumbled on to a medical technology program where she could work in a laboratory after graduation. The program was very hard, I knew it as soon as I saw the classes required. I was afraid she wouldn’t be able to handle all the work involved. But, she wanted to try it, and it would be a great career and profession. She struggled at first, I panicked. I suggested she change majors. She told me she really wanted to stick with it. I supported her decision. And she worked very hard, every day and every weekend for the past three and a half years. There were only 17 students in the program before Christmas break; after the break it was down to 13. My daughter is one of the top students with a 3.6+ GPA. She says maybe she is third from the top, but she would never tell me if she was first. She isn’t completive at all. She just does her best and helps her peers. She has been doing hospital rotations all year and has worked at about eight different hospitals. They all love her, some asked her to bring them her resume when she graduates. As I write this, my heart swells with pride and my eyes fill with tears at how much I love her.

I have no doubt, that when she brings home her yearbook from college, it will be filled with the same sentiments expressed by her previous graduating classmates. There is just something special about her that people love. 

I have been blessed with an angel and I hope she has a very Happy Birthday. No one deserves it more.

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