Today is a very strange day for me.
You see my only child, known here usually simply as "the kid", my daughter turns 21 today.
And that's rather hard for me to grasp.
Isn't this the tiny little premature baby I remember gently stroking through the access port on her incubator? The only slightly larger baby who came home on a monitor that scared the hell out of me because it couldn't here her tiny lungs working so it kept going off? Again, and again and again!
The baby that fell asleep on Daddy's chest, leaving a baby shaped sweat mark on his t-shirt? The one who smiled and smiled and smiled?
Surely this isn't the little pixie of a girl in our favorite Christmas video? The one who was afraid of Santa and who had such fun passing out the presents and unwrapping her own?
The little girl who would hurl herself into my legs when I came home from work with all the force of a mini linebacker? Who picked flowers in the outfield during softball games or who scored that absolutely amazing goal in soccer?
Surely not that little girl in all those calenders that were sent to the grandparents each Christmas?
The little girl who became a lector at church, discovered her singing voice, her acting heart, her joy of writing and music (guitar, piano, clarinet and more).
She's an amazing young woman these days. Still one of the great joys and lights of my life. Still my baby girl though she is patently neither.
And today she is an legal adult.
I'm very proud of her. And every once in a while I still see that little girl too. I hope I always will.
I love you chica. Happy Birthday.