Cathy ZielskeCZ Life31 Comments

Twenty-one years ago, at roughly 1:40 p.m. on a slightly overcast afternoon in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, my first child was born into this world. It would be an understatement to say that life has never been the same in the most glorious and unexpected ways.

This girl, no—this woman, changed my life on that day and continues to give me the opportunity to change and grow and be the parent she needs literally on the daily.

Today I wanted to list some things about her that I love. I’ll pick a nice easy number like 21.

I love:

  1. Her sense of style.
  2. Her sense of humor.
  3. Her passion to learn.
  4. Her near-daily SnapChats.
  5. Her sportiness and love of Ultimate.
  6. Her independence, which she’s pretty much been rocking in innumerable ways since about the age of 3.
  7. Her responsibility for herself on all levels.
  8. Her eyebrows. So legit.
  9. Her love of both old school pop music and present day pop music. She’ll belt out old Crowded House tunes with me as easily as she’ll sing along with Ed Sheeran or some other artist I’m far too unhip to have ever heard of.
  10. Her obsession with salt and vinegar potato chips. (And yes, that apple is SO close to the tree.)
  11. Her love of family game night, even if it’s usually just me, her and Dan.
  12. Her ability to do stuff with her hair. (And yes, that apple is NOWHERE near the tree.)
  13. Her love of cancelled plans. (Introverts of the world unite!)
  14. Her penmanship, which should be classified as art.
  15. Her love of car rides (provided she is in the front seat) and her willingness to join you on any imaginable errand.
  16. Her love of our political and legal system, in spite of its imperfectness.
  17. Her ability to self-start. I pity the fool who stands in her way once she’s determined a course of action.
  18. Her selfies.
  19. Her singing voice.
  20. Her glorious smile.
  21. Her beautiful mind.

This might sound strange, but as an adopted person, she was the first blood relative I ever knew. The very first. This girl was, is and will always be a part of so many of my firsts in life. Thank you, Aidan. Truly.

I’m so honored to be her mother and I’m deeply grateful for the relationship we have.

Girlie, happy 21st birthday to you. We’ll see you this weekend to celebrate, but until then, I love you with all of my heart.


Cathy Zielske21

31 Comments on “21”

  1. #2
    Lisa Macfarlane

    Love this. I can feel the love. As an adopted person I get it. My son is my only blood relative and I never knew how much love I could feel until I had him. Happy birthday Aidan. ?????

  2. #3

    Happy birthday Aidan. Keep being all of these things. Cathy, a classic you post. Why we tune in. Humour and genuine sentiment. Enjoy this special day.

  3. #4
    Katie Jones (UK)

    Beautiful, as always, Cathy 🙂 I am fascinated by the fact that Aidan was the first blood relative you knew.
    Happy birthday, beautiful. Thanks for bringing so much happiness and joy into your Mama’s life, and for sharing her with us. I love seeing and reading about the two of you – you are adorable.
    Have an amazing day, both of you, and enjoy your weekend!!

  4. #5

    Gosh Cathy – pivotal moment ! I am an adopted person too and it simply has never dawned on me that my daughter was/is the first blood relative I had/have ever known. Massive food for thought! Beautiful post – beautiful young woman.

    Have you ever considered doing the Ancestry DNA test ? Another pivotal moment for me 🙂

  5. #8

    Happy Birthday Adian!! What a beautiful young lady! That was a really nice post Cathy. Thanks for sharing. I love it <3

  6. #10

    Another adoptee here – I get it. When I had my son, he was the first person related to me by blood that I’d ever met. It was… surreal. And so, so special. Happy birthday to your girl, and much happiness to you. What a lovely tribute to your daughter (and your love for her) that you’ve shared today…

  7. #14

    Happy birthday Aidan! What a wonderful tribute, Cathy; both to your daughter and to the life and family you’ve built. May you both enjoy a day full of celebration.

  8. #16

    Congrats to Aidan!

    It’s fun filling out the family medical history when you visit the doctor, isn’t it, Cathy? I can so relate. I have my original family, but my mom wasn’t around much when I was growing up, so I kind of missed a lot of that, too. Although I cannot relate to the interpersonal female relationships, I grew up in a household of men (my dad and 5 brothers, 3 of my own and 2 step-brothers). I was also the oldest, so I had much of the responsibilities growing up, but that’s another story. I am tickled and amazed when I witness female mother daughter relationships first hand.

    I’m so glad that you have such a close relationship with Aidan. I can’t believe that she is in her twenties! Even though I don’t know her personally, I feel like she grew up around me, she was always peeking in on your live chats, so I got to see her grow up, sort of.

    Congratulations to you both, may you always be as close as you are now!

  9. #17

    This is beautiful. Your love for your girl is so evident in all your posts. Happy Birthday Aidan! (Have we ever seen her handwriting? I’m so intrigued now!)

  10. #18

    Happy Birthday Aidan……Cathy your post made me all weepy. I do not have children, but I can certainly feel the love coming through your words. Aidan is a very lucky girl to be so loved.

  11. #19

    Happy birthday Aidan, you lucky girl! Beautiful words, Cathy. My second grandchild, another beautiful little girl, was born this morning, so I will always celebrate with you Aidan!

  12. #21
    Heidi Gauvin

    Happy birthday Aidan! This post made me well up. Numbers 10, 11 and 16 resonate with me and my girls as well. What lucky women you two are!

  13. #23

    Holy Crap! Weren’t we just calling her ‘One-Three’ like two seconds ago!!
    What a phenomenal girl you’ve raised, Mama!

  14. #24
    Kelly Koesters

    In honor of Aidan’s birthday I am going to watch this year’s bee dance…again! Have a great weekend celebrating your girl!

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