Every year around my children’s birthdays I take some time to close my eyes and go back in time, to their births, reminiscing and cherishing the memories of their growing up years. Both have made their dad and I very proud and they truly are most precious to me as their mom.
My baby girl will be 20 years old next week and some days I wonder where the time has gone.
It feels like just yesterday I was standing in the kitchen, early labor pains crawling through my lower back, trying to get her daddy to call home. He was working out of town, in Indianapolis, almost 2 hours away. I had been to the doctor that day, my due date, and already was 4.5 centimeters dilated and now labor had started. At that time we didn’t have cell phones, but he did wear a pager. I was sending our predetermined numeric code to let him know the time had come but not received a call for several hours and I was beginning to panic just a bit. I was not aware at the time that he had quit his job that morning, packed up all his belongings, turned in the beeper and was headed home.
Finally the phone rang and I waddled over to answer but was disappointed, it was not my husband. It was the bank calling to inform us that we needed to come back in before noon the following day and re-sign our consolidation loan papers. They had not used my legal name on the first set and therefore the papers we had signed were null and void. The next day was Saturday so they were only open until noon, and this was Friday so they closed at 6pm. I hung up with great concern, there would be no signing anything tomorrow as I had little doubt I’d be in the hospital holding the little bundle that was making it increasingly more uncomfortable to move minute to minute.
I was walking the floors, rubbing my stomach and praying when, at 5:30pm my husband pulled into the driveway. The car was filled to the brim with his possessions from the room he occupied in Indianapolis. I came out of the front door with a beach towel under my arm, purse on my shoulder, locked up, opened the car door, put the folded towel on the seat and got in the car with him staring at me, totally confused. I explained we needed to get to the bank fast before they closed. “What is the towel for?” he asked, looking at it sticking out from under me. “I’m in labor, that is why this has to be done today, the towel is in case my water breaks” I replied. He mumbled something about really not needing this right now, and headed toward the bank. Leave it to Pete we arrived in plenty of time to get the paper work completed.
After we arrived we spent a good deal of time waiting on the loan officer to get the new paper work together. Finally Pete told them I was in labor and they needed to pick up the pace. Once they realized he wasn’t kidding they began rushing around to gather things together so we could get started, I guess they didn’t want this baby born in their offices. While waiting the sky had begun to grow very dark, a storm was rolling in fast. Just after sitting down and beginning to sign my life away a dozen times, the tornado siren on the school across the street began to sound. My worst nightmare was unfolding before my eyes, I was going to give birth, during a tornado, in the basement of the bank with the assistance of some still wet behind the ears paramedics.
Thankfully the storm blew over without incident but it was an omen of things to come with this child. After 14 hours of labor, at 6am the next morning, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. She had hair so blond it was white and transparent, and a serious set of lungs on her that let us know she was not at all impressed with life outside of the womb. I thought she was beautiful, her daddy said she looked like a prune. Not to worry, he was so taken with her, all his life he had wanted a daughter and even had her name picked out long before we met, it was sort of an unwritten agreement that if we ever had a girl he got to name her.
Don’t misunderstand, he deeply loves our son, but he very much wanted a blond haired, blue eyed little girl. I prayed for months that he’d get that and one that was high spirited like her daddy. Be careful what you wish for, her hair is still naturally platinum blond, eyes very blue and she cannot sit still for 5 minutes. Her friends call her Bubbles because she is almost always bubbling over with happiness and joy, and her giggle is infectious. Remember the storm? Well she tends to appear out of no where and is anything but quiet in nature, she is a bundle of energy and drive like I’ve never seen before. During her childhood she had 3 sets of stitches and a broken arm, countless scraped knees and had a tendency to walk into walls, store displays and doors, mind and feet going in different directions. She was like a mini tornado wherever she went.
As siblings will do, she and her older brother had their moments, but over all they have always had a great relationship. He is as protective over her if not more so, than her daddy. More than once as she has left the house to go out he has made comments about the length of her skirt or how tiny her bikini was, and glared at any man who so much as glanced at her.
Until college she had never been in a traditional classroom, we had home schooled her from kindergarten through 12th grade. She didn’t lack for a social life, being in American Heritage Girls, active in youth group, and had a circle of friends that kept her social calendar quite full. She attended several of the high school dances including home coming and proms with dates or her girl friends. She just finished her second year of college, her goal is to be a veterinary technician. She still has some school left but has been on the deans list since starting so we’ve no doubt she will finish. It is the perfect profession for her, she adores animals and they all love her as well.
She is very much attached, and we think the boyfriend is a keeper. They’ve been a couple a number of years now and I anticipate a wedding in a few years when he finishes college if not sometime before. Poor guy, took him a while to win the approval of daddy and big brother but he finally did prove himself worthy….well sort of, neither think any man is worthy of her really.
This week she is headed to Disney World with her boyfriend and his parents, and I’m puppy sitting her little Yorkie. She’ll celebrate her 20th birthday away from home, before returning to celebrate with us. It seems like just yesterday I was changing her diapers and now she has her high school diploma and is closing in fast on her college degree. Where oh where has the time gone?
I love you, Liesl, more than I could ever express in words, and I am so very proud of you! You’ve brought more joy to my life than you can know in the past 20 years and I’m looking forward to watching you continue to grow through the coming chapters in your life. Happy Birthday a few days early!!!