Today is our darling, delicious, delightful daughter, Sarah's, birthday, which automatically makes it a great day. I'm doubtful anyone who reads my blogs has ever actually met her. So here is a little bit about my girl. She was born on this day seventeen years ago, a chubby, squishy little thing, with very powerful set of lungs, which I recall, only got stronger and stronger as the months went on. Day one, she and I stared into each others eyes and shared one of those mother-daughter "ugh" moments; same day, Dad held her in his arms and the room filled with an aura of ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey, mushy-wushy sweetness. She was delightful - and we were goners. That day I new exactly what the future would hold. I sensed a stubbornly determined, serious persona filled our tiny pink, precious baby; at the same time, a clever wit and sassy spirit could not be contained. I got all that from the get-go. She was delivered by c-section like her brother had been, however, not under emergency circumstances. During the last weeks of my pregnancy, fear of impending surgical procedure started to intensify. (I was still experiencing effects of serious post-surgery complications from when R.J. was born, so I was scared to death.) But, just the way life works, the loss of a favorite cousin days before Sarah's scheduled delivery date provided enough distraction and minimized any childbirth trauma that might have gotten the best of me when my newborn baby girl would need her momma most. Actually, I remember the only problem while on the operating table was not being able to swallow due to very bad cotton-mouth. I remember praying and asking God to make my mouth water; I told God to always keep my cousin Marta in my heart, and hoped some of Marta's "funny" could be shared with baby Sarah. God heard my prayers and delivered. Funny thing was, Marta shared much more. I love that memories of Marta fill my heart today; makes a joyous occasion, all the more special. I love laughing with Sarah - a short two-minute drive to drop her off at the high school can leave us in stitches. My cousin Marta could make me laugh the minute she walked in the door.
Sarah was a sweet baby sister to her big brother R.J. I love how she sang out his name calling him to her. Aaaah Jaaaayyy. Too cute. My prayers to God also asked that he not let me be too overwhelmed caring for my new baby, and that I be strong enough to properly care for both babies (R.J. was 18 months when Sarah was born) because I was still very weak and required doctor's care for whatever was going on with my body. God took care of things. Rick was always hands-on; my mom was available at the sound of ringing phone; my babies had the most agreeable dispositions and were so easy to manage. She may have had a stubborn streak and baby-size temper, but baby Sarah somehow knew how loud and how long to go with the crying. It was all good... regardless of my illnesses. Our drooly, chunky, little Sarah brought all of us miles and miles of smiles every day.
One thing I'm grateful for is that R.J. and Sarah have amazing memories of their shared toddler-hood. We spent hours those mobile home days in Palm Desert playing on the living-room floor, or in the nursery, where there were plenty of things for babies to creep around, roll under or crawl upon safely. R.J. introduced Sarah to all his favorite shows on PBS; but Sarah never became as big a television watcher as he. She did enjoy watching Disney movies after lunch. We would lay a quilt down in the middle of the room, lie down to watch our movie, and then all fall asleep midway through. Good times. Another wonderful memory is of brother and sister's conversations. Both spoke very clearly early on, so as soon as she could keep up, Sarah followed her big brother's lead in whatever playtime fun he came up with; it was no time before Sarah took charge whenever she saw fit. They played news reporters, scribbling on tiny note pads with fat crayons, or running their pizza place taking orders, assembling imaginary pies, and cooking up pizzas for anybody who walked in the door. They spent hours quietly playing "family" with soft dolls and stuffed animals or were builders, like dad, stacking wooden blocks, vhs's, toilet paper or paper towel rolls. It was evident early on that Sarah had foreman/leadership qualities. She could be very bossy. Fair... but bossy. When we learned Sarah would be a big sister, it was definitely time to move out of the tiny mobile home that Rick had custom designed for us. We celebrated Sarah's 2nd birthday there before moving to a larger home a few miles down the road.
... to be continued.