Sunday, October 26, 2008

Because She's 10

My baby girl is 10.

My baby girl is ten.



No matter how many times I say it, write it, hear it from others, it still doesnt seem real or possible. To me, she will always be...

-Kaitlin Taylor, my chubby-cheeked-squinty-eyed-smiling toddler who had an air of confidence right from the beginning.

-The one who kicked me endlessly for nine months.

-The baby who wouldn't wait for the epidural.

-The baby I slept with that first night, and couldn't believe her features were so tiny and feminine.

-The newborn who had so much black hair that Jamie called her "Kim Su".

-The baby who was just so daintily beautiful.

-The one I fed breastmilk through a medicine dropper because she couldn’t latch on.

-The infant I slathered in pink, pink, pink.

-The one who slept on her tummy with one leg pulled up...and still does.

-The baby who loved to eat…anything.

-The one who watched 3-year-old Jordan’s every move…and ADORED him.

-The one-year-old who wouldn't talk...and worried us all.

-The girl who gave me such joy just by letting me brush and fix her hair in ponytails.

-The toddler who would try to ride the dog.

-The toddler who had a definite strut to her walk.

-The two year old who we thought might have a language barrier.

-The baby who stripped down naked every night in her crib.

-The one who we eventually had to duct tape her diaper into a makeshift belt.

-The girl who was so confident, yet so emotional, all in one...and still is.

-The toddler who organized all her toys in rows.

-The three year old who, once she began, never stopped talking, and astounded us with the vocabulary she had been holding in.

-The preschooler who, to her mother's horror, was the playground's self-proclaimed "Kissing Girl".

-The girl who had her Daddy wrapped from the beginning.

-The one who wrote her name all over her new bunk bed, first and last name...and later claimed, "It wasn't me".

-The preschooler who would play teacher and correct her friend's papers.

-The girl who could be destroyed when she was placed in Time Out. Still can.

-The child who could cry and laugh in the same ten seconds.

-The baby sister who gave Jordan his nickname "Jo-Jo".

-The girl who would talk to herself in her crib when she woke up…for as long as we let her. Happy as can be.

-The girl who loved to cut her own hair…and her Barbies, too.

-The girl who whispered to me, before the Kindergarten day began, sitting Indian-style in a dress:

-The girl who loved to snuggle “in the middle”…and still does.

-The girl who always had a way of “summing up” any situation in one profound sentence…and still does.

-The girl who loves to shop with me, and can always make the right fashion choices. For both of us.

-The girl who is developing a really wicked sense of humor...that I love.

………..The girl who changed my life.

My Katie.

She is TEN.

I can't believe she is this age, and yet I cannot fathom my life without this ten-year-old in it.

Happy Birthday, Katie.

You are my dream come true.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pausing To Remember

I have always wanted to visit Washington, D.C. There are so many historical landmarks that I have read about, seen in pictures...and as a citizen, I just want to stand next to them, see in them in person, and just share the same space.

I know I will go someday. And I know I will bring my kids.

This I know. Someday.

Until then...the Traveling Wall came to Naples. What an amazing organization this is. The Wall is a replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall that travels all over the country, to share the memories with people who can't see it in person. It is a huge undertaking, requiring hundreds of hours of preparation, preservation, set up, and break down. Volunteers guard this beautiful memorial around the clock, 24 hours a day.

Sunday was the last day The Wall would be in our town. Jamie and I wanted to bring the kids there... to give them a taste of history, sacrifice, devotion to country, patriotism...all that stuff.

Sunday was very rainy. Ruh-roh.

This was the last place Jordan, Katie, and Blane (cousin who just slept over) wanted to go on a rainy Sunday afternoon. They wanted to go to the mall. To the movies. Or just stay home, make popcorn, and play video games.

There was a bit of complaining in the car. Sample comments included:

"It's so rainy."

"We don't even have an umbrella."

"Oh wait, we have one umbrella, but we can't all use it."

"I call the umbrella."

"NO...I called it first."

"Do they have rides there?"

"Stop kicking me!"

"'s, a WALL?"

"I don't get it."

"Can we just go HOME?"

But we pressed on. Forced them get out of the car.

They didn't like it...........and they didn't GET it.

Until they SAW it.

Once standing in front of this immense we gazed at name...after name...after name...after name.......the only words that followed from the mouths of our babes were loaded with big questions, conversations about the past, and pockets of deep it all sank in.

For all of us.

Thank you.