The Floridian is 24 years old. Yes, today is my baby girl’s birthday. She arrived right on time around 8:25AM after a night of labor. And I do mean L.A.B.O.R as she weighed in at 9 pounds 13 ounces.
A Christmas present I can never forget. That year, Santa came a day late to our home because we all were hanging out in my hospital room, and there wasn’t much room for a tree and toys. No matter. Army Wife’s expression might tell you how she felt about the new arrival.
And I can honestly say I don’t know where the time went. It doesn’t seem like 24 years have gone by since that day.
She was my “quiet” child. I suppose I was more comfortable in my mommy skin by the time she came along so she didn’t sense the sheer panic of being a first-time mom. I remember thinking how in the world would I be able to divide my love between the two. Then, someone told me you don’t divide your love…you multiply it. And that’s so true. Both our daughters are have grown into beautiful young women; each with their own personality quirks, talents, accomplishments and, yes, imperfections.
The Floridian started out as most younger sisters, following her big sister around and doing everything she did. But, eventually, she found her own, unique style. Childhood was filled with gymnastics and dance classes, softball games and short-lived clarinet lessons. High school brought 4 years on the ladies golf team that eventually won her a college scholarship.
I remember driving to work one morning after she’d moved to college and the tears began to fall. Eighteen years was all of a sudden gone and my baby was now a college coed! The next four years included more golf tournaments, one where she showed me the meaning of tenacious! When she turned 21 years old, we were commanded to come and be her DD as she celebrated. We were more than willing to accept that job. During college, she experienced being a Homecoming Queen candidate and graduated on time in 4 years.
After graduation she was insistent on finding a job in Florida. I guess you just can’t land lock a coastal soul. Not accepting the possibility she wouldn’t find a job in Florida, there was no Plan B. When the moving van left in August of 2010, she had both job and apartment.
Now, she’s officially a Floridian and I doubt if she’ll ever be land locked again. She’s found a guy she’s crazy about, lives only blocks from the beach and living her dream.
Happy Birth Day, Floridian! You’ve come a long way. Can’t wait to see where you go from here.