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.
- Her sense of style.
- Her sense of humor.
- Her passion to learn.
- Her near-daily SnapChats.
- Her sportiness and love of Ultimate.
- Her independence, which she’s pretty much been rocking in innumerable ways since about the age of 3.
- Her responsibility for herself on all levels.
- Her eyebrows. So legit.
- 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.
- Her obsession with salt and vinegar potato chips. (And yes, that apple is SO close to the tree.)
- Her love of family game night, even if it’s usually just me, her and Dan.
- Her ability to do stuff with her hair. (And yes, that apple is NOWHERE near the tree.)
- Her love of cancelled plans. (Introverts of the world unite!)
- Her penmanship, which should be classified as art.
- Her love of car rides (provided she is in the front seat) and her willingness to join you on any imaginable errand.
- Her love of our political and legal system, in spite of its imperfectness.
- Her ability to self-start. I pity the fool who stands in her way once she’s determined a course of action.
- Her selfies.
- Her singing voice.
- Her glorious smile.
- 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.