There are no words that can describe how you feel about the first child you placed at your breast. After 24 hours of labor, Annie and I got a rough start. She was due on October 8th and born on October 31st. That should have been my clue she would grow up to be independent, strong willed and sometimes scary.
She follows “first child” descriptions pretty close. She is an over achiever, analytical and likes to compete. Whatever she does she does very well.
Some of my favorite memories are times when Annie surprised us. We refer to them as meltdowns now. Some children have a melt down daily, but Annie was selective. Her first was not with me. I had a night class at college and it was exam week when Annie had to do a speaking part at school. She was only in kindergarten and they wanted her to do an introduction at an evening event. Fred described it to me later. It was just like the Brady Bunch episode when Cindy got stage fright. The guilt I felt was gut wrenching because I was not there to console her.
Later, when she was in the fifth grade, it was the spelling bee competition. She forgot to capitalize Junior. (I could be wrong on this one) She ran off to the ladies room where I tried in vain to make her roll it off.
She got over her fear of microphones and audiences because she often emceed shows in middle school and high school. One time we went to a chorus concert and to our surprise she sang several solos and wowed the audience. We almost fell off the chair.
But the single surprise that caught us totally off guard was when she was home a weekend from college and wanted to get highlights in her hair. I had a hairdresser come to the house and when he was finished she looked a bit like Madonna. Her highlights were white frosting… a lot of frosting. She cried hysterically for 24 hours. I am not even sure it is something we laugh about yet. This was a bad hair event like no other.
Annie survived her childhood and adolescence. She has grown into a strong adult woman, loving wife, devoted mom who values love, relationship and friendship. Annie is the “gentle listener” like her father. She lets things roll off her back now and says no big deal. We are proud of all she has accomplished and especially the way she tackles all of the challenges of being a stay at home mom. Happy Birthday Annie, I did not forget this year.