Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The eldest child who can't possibly be as old as the calendar says she is


There are many things that date this photo, including:
  • The fact that I have all black hair
  • My stone-washed jeans
  • I'm reading a print newspaper (OK, I still do that every day)
  • The little girl I'm holdingsomehow, inexplicablyis suddenly 27 years old 
That little girl is our oldest daughter Elissa, who is celebrating a birthday today. It is always a milestone when your oldest turns a new age because, you know, this is new territory for her/him and for you. Neither of you has been here before, so it's always a new adventure.

My in-laws, Tom and Judy, liked to tell the story about Elissa's birth. They were in the waiting room at the hospital when I came bursting out, still wearing my scrubs, and said (seemingly all in one breath), "It's a girl! She's beautiful!"

And she was beautiful. She is beautiful.

She has been my buddy since long before she can remember. For a couple of years when Terry worked days and I worked nights, I took care of Elissa all day long. We went everywhere together. We had scheduled feedings and nap times (hers, not mine, unfortunately). We watched countless episodes of Barney and Winnie the Pooh.

Then, as children are wont to do, she grew up. It has always been a bittersweet thing to me that my children have grown. Heavier on the "sweet" than the "bitter," of course, but still...

Today I wish nothing but the most awesome of birthdays to the pretty little girl who made me a daddy and later went on to become a pretty grown-up girl. She is dynamic, hilarious, talented, and so incredibly full of life. I'm not sure I ever had the spark she does.

And today she's another year older. Happy birthday, Lissy. I still think of you when I read the paper sometimes (that's a true story).

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