Friday, January 21, 2011

Smart Little Bugga

Last week she asked me to get on Skype. She said she had something to discuss with me. My husband was there too and we both logged on and saw her pretty face coming on the screen. "So, the reason I bite my fingers? It's all your fault. I did not get enough nourishment as a baby and that's why I do this now". I smirked. She'd apparently forgotten the adorable thunder thighs she had as a baby, thinking only of my story of how I had to stop breastfeeding earlier than I'd hoped to put her on formula when she needed more than I could provide. "Oh yeah? Is that right? Well. What else did I do wrong honey?" I said teasingly. My firstborn, having gone to the first few classes of her second semester of college, is taking Child Psychology. She's excited about all that she's learning and it reminds me of how I also called home to share with my own parents during my own college years.

Thinking back over her babyhood, childhood, and teen years, there are flashes of her that make me smile. I remember holding her little hand through the rails of her crib as she fell asleep after numerous peeks with one eye to see if I was still there. I remember her at the tender age of three, her little arms embracing me as she tried to comfort me when I knocked down some beloved porcelain figurines. She would do the same five years later after my miscarriage, the second time I broke down sobbing uncontrollably in front of her. I remember folding laundry with her and having her wear a cool whip container as a hat. Another time I placed an empty box of cheerios on her head for no reason other than to be playful and to take a memorable picture. I laugh at how we always had fun doing the most spontaneous silly things. I think of what an amazing big sister she always has been. I remember all the great talks we've shared, many of them taking place in the car during our travels here and there, and of all the singing, the dancing, and laughing.

I've heard from other firstborns that their parents made all of their mistakes on them, that the subsequent children fared better due to the parents' experience. As the baby of five children I do believe my older and wiser Mom and Dad had certainly learned a thing or two by the time I came along, but I can't say that they did any better with me than with my siblings. We all turned out pretty darn well I'd say.

My college girl turns 19 years old today. Having her away at college on her birthday is strange but satisfying. As much as I miss her, there is no where else I'd like her to be today. She's a smart little bugga as my Dad would say. She is doing well in her classes but is also embracing the social experiences of school with enthusiasm. I know our children don't tell us everything but I also believe that she's making good choices now that she's away from home. I trust her judgment and I believe in her with all my heart. She may falter at times as we all do, but she'll know how to pick herself up or how to ask for help when she needs it. Most importantly, whether she's being serious and determined, kooky and silly, or compassionate and kind, she's going to continue to be a positive force in this world. She will continue to share with me all the mistakes I made with her in her upbringing, of this I am sure, but I'll continue to smirk. Because when I look at her and see all that she is, when we talk and she once again embraces me with a big strong hug, I can't help but believe that in doing the best we could as new parents 19 years ago, we did just fine. We actually could not have done any better.


  1. Anne, you and Eric HAVE done a wonderful job of raising all three of your children. They are kind-hearted, loving, responsible, funny, charming people (a lot like their parents). I hope my Goddaughter had a wonderful birthday.

  2. Yes, she is and beautiful too...inside
    and out.