sweet sweet child of mine

I sit here tonight, after a ridiculously long day at work (another story) and am amazed that my baby turns 30 tomorrow.  This sweet child of mine has been a rewarding puzzle since the day we found out we were going to have a third child. feisty and moody, compassionate and fiercely independent, scared of the dark and protective of all she loves.

Third child in a series of amazing beings couldn’t have been easy.  Val chose to stand out in her own way.  Athletic, defiant, demanding and giving.

College found her attacked from all angles.  people she trusted wounded her — and in her desire to please, she wilted, almost disappeared.  2 months before graduation, she broke, she welded and she chose life.

and it has been a whirlwind ever since.  backslides and triumphs, babies and careers, vacations and long bad trips.

and she survives.  She thrives.  She kicks dust in the face of the naysayers and thumbs her nose at the past.  She remembers, oh she remembers, but she moves forward, always forward….she is my wild child, my punk, my butter, my Valerie.  I love her more than life, I will protect and defend her against anyone, anyone who dares to try to hurt my child again.  Happy Birthday punk,, my sweet sweet child, I love you.

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Confess…I must

DSCN9866So, my birthday was Monday.  i have never been an “it’s my birthday, celebrate me for days” kind of person, but like most people, I appreciate a hug, a card, a gift.  I look forward to a day of “wow you’re awesome” — sue me.  I’m a little self involved.

But, i digress…

Last Saturday we received a phone call that our daughter needed some back up.  Son in law had an emergency work trip.  So I packed up a bag and headed over.  A three week old, two year old and four year old makes for a hectic house, I was happy to help.

But, as the weekend progressed and my birthday loomed…I realized that my other two hadnt called, hadnt arranged to see me over the weekend …. no cards had come in the mail, no flowers delivered.  Moms feelings were hurt.

I took a break from grammy care and went home Sunday.  Lay on the couch and had myself a good cry.  Feeling exceptionally sorry for myself, ignored, taken for granted, you name it, I felt it.  then my husband came home with the only ugly coat that London Fog had ever made, in a bag, for me.  No way, take it back.

coerced my husband into bringing up the first Christmas tree.  I always have the angel tree up on my birthday.  spent an hour setting it up, plugged it in, 2 sections of lights OUT. Of course….

So, here it was, the day before my birthday.  There was no party, no cake, no Angel Tree….poor pitiful me.

Dragged my sad self back to daughter’s house where her kids presented me with a couple of great cards :  signed by them!  and a picture that the two year old had drawn of a rainbow.  That helped.  At least someone realizes…..grammy needs a cuddle.

And then the palooza began.  Youngest daughter, husband ( during an eagles game!) , her two kids, my husband and my inlaws descended upon us.  There was CAKE!  and Cards and drawings from the babies…..AAHHH…..

What was it i was whining about??

french vanilla ice cream

My son has pretty much raised his daughter on his own.  Her mom, a beautiful wisp of a thing, nose dived and left when the baby was 5 months old.  when the baby was just under 7 months old mom was in a car accident — riding in her car, drunk, with a guy, also drunk.  they spun out on a wet road, heading away, not towards the house where her daughter lived, at 4 in the morning and she broke her back.  And so continued the saga that has been her life.

But this post is about my son.  And his daughter.  The years have passed, the grandbaby is turning 4 tomorrow  and today my son gave her a party.  Each year we have celebrated her birthday — everything pink and soft and warm, usually i bring the decorations and cake, my oldest makes a banner and the youngest fills in with dips,chips and balloons. 

But this year was different.  We arrived to a beautiful array of cinderella and snow white.  An appetizer table, thats right, an appetizer table bedecked with onion dip and cheese queso, chips, sweet peanuts and chex mix.  And big square disney princess plates and napkins and tablecoverings.  A huge Cinderella castle balloon.  And my beautiful granddaughter holding court at the table bedecked in the Cinderella dress I had bought her last year.  My son, and his wonderful girlfriend had prepared a party fit for the princess our girl is….and they had done it without help, direction or reminders.

And they even had french vanilla ice cream.

My work here is done.