Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eleven Cubed

Dear Dakota,

How cool is your birthday? 11 on 11/11? I'm not good at math but I'm pretty sure that only happens once in a lifetime. You’re welcome. Too bad you weren’t turning 11 on 11/11/11 but you can’t win them all, so 12 on 11/11/11 will still be pretty awesome.

Eleven years ago today, I paged (that’s what people used to do before everyone had a cell it) Daddy about 30 minutes after he left for work because I felt like something might happen. He came home, we called the doctor who told us to wait it out so we sat at home all day and played games (Uno, Skipbo, and Racko…I won, obviously) until we could wait no more and the hurtin’ was for certain. Then we made our way to the hospital where they gave us a room and told us to keep waiting but that we would have a baby soon. FYI: “Soon” in medical terms can mean anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 days. It was Wednesday night so luckily, Beverly Hills 90210 AND Party of Five was on so Mama was blissfully distracted from the pain that was wracking my body. I blame Charlie on Party of Five (another thing to google) for refusing the drugs. Have I ever told you that?  You know, that I had you with NO DRUGS.  The funny part was that that day was your actual due date..November 10th, 1999. The really funny part (funny now that I’ve survived it) is even prenatal you moved at sloth speed and were born an hour past your due date at 1:07 a.m. on Thursday, November 11th. I never want to hear you say you’re mad that you don’t get a card in the mail on your birthday because YOU are the one who waited until Veteran’s Day (a federal holiday) to come into this world. We didn’t know if you were going to be a boy or a girl but when you were born I can still hear Daddy saying, “It’s a girl! It’s a girl Holly! We have a girl!” Standing outside of our hospital room that night were Nana, Papa, and Nita. Nana had waited all her life to have a girl so when she heard the magic words that you were a girl she immediately started planning her first shopping trip to buy dresses and shoes and pink things. She was just a tad bit excited, just like the rest of us.

So that was ELEVEN years ago. I have to admit, this totally freaks me out. I came to the realization the other day that we only have 7 more years to “raise” you and we’re way over halfway done which means if we’ve screwed you up it’s probably too late to fix it. And let’s be honest, you are our firstborn so most of the time we were/are just winging it. I hope you turn out to be a functioning, happy, well balanced, member of society in spite of us being your parents. 

Since it’s your birthday, let’s talk about you. This has been an interesting year because you’re just on the brink of being a teenager and you’re a girl. Those two things combined mean TOTAL. DRAMA. ISLAND. Listen, I love you with every inch of my heart but sometimes you make me want to scream. Daddy says it’s because you have my attitude and we just butt heads. I say it’s because you are just like my sister Heidi who always has to have the last word and who I once tried to kill with a butter knife because we clashed so much but whatev. (Sidenote: I’m so glad my attempted murder with a butter knife was unsuccessful because the minute I moved out, Heidi and I got along great and she’s now one of my BFFs. Also, if I ever catch you trying to kill one of your brothers with a butter knife you will be in SO much trouble.) :) All I know is that there are times when I’m certain I will not survive your teenage years. Let’s hope I do because I can’t wait to see what you do with your future, even if I’m viewing it from inside of the psych ward. Maybe I can get a day pass when you win the Nobel Peace Prize or something.

You are the most unique and talented girl I’ve ever met and I’m not just saying that because I’m your mom, although that has a little something to do with it. Your creativity and the way you express yourself thru writing and art just blow me away. I have no idea where you got your artistic abilities from but wow. You are a free spirit who is not hindered by stereotypes or expectations. I love that about you. You are confident with who you are, even if that's a little out of the ordinary, which it is. I hope that stupid girls in junior high and high school don't dampen that confidence, but knowing you it won't.  You'll probably just call them a big word that they won't understand and go about your business.  You love to read and can read half a Harry Potter book in one night and tell us every blessed detail about it.   You love nothing more than getting up before dawn and wearing camo to go hunting with your Daddy.  Last spring after turkey hunting with him all day and not getting anything you told him, "I love hunting with you Daddy, even if we don't get anything just because I get to spend all day with just you."  Awww...well played, well played my child.  You are amazingly smart and know something about everything.  For example, we were carving pumpkins (against my will) and you enlightened us with how jack o lanterns came to be and how they actually started as carvings in a radish or turnip.  I should know better than to doubt you but truth is, I googled it and of course you were right.  You love animals especially cats, horses, and the occasional chicken.  You spend hours and hours out in the barnyard playing with, analyzing, studying, petting, and ahem..sometimes RIDING the animals.  This country life we're living is definitely for you.  Sometimes I get really frustrated because it will be time for supper and I'll yell and yell for you and about 20 minutes later you'll show up dirty and stinky because you were exploring in the back pasture or catching crawdads in the creek or stalking a fox in the woods.  But truth is, I'm glad you get to grow up like that even if it means my food gets cold.  It's just a part of who you are.
When I look at you, I can't believe how you are an exact mix of both Daddy and I, but yet all your own.  You are gorgeous (even though you growl when I tell you that), in an untamed, wild way that perfectly suits your personality.  You're smart, funny, dizzy, respectful, and wise beyond your years in a lot of ways and in others still such a sweet, innocent little girl. 
You are the oldest and with that great power comes great responsibility.  Not really, well kinda but I just really wanted to use that Spiderman line.  Anyway, you and your brothers have such odd relationships.  You and Blade are BFF's a lot of the time. It's  so stinkin sweet when we're out somewhere and I notice the you two are walking side by side and you have your arm draped around his shoulders. Now for you and Ryder those times are fewer and further between, like only when he has something you want, but they do happen, once in awhile. Right now you and Ryder are like fire and ice, because when the 2 of you are together a meltdown of some sort is pretty much inevitable.  You know how to push his buttons and he knows how to push yours and WOULD YOU TWO PLEASE QUIT PUSHING THOSE BUTTONS?!?   But I know that someday those same brothers will turn into overprotective, overbearing bodyguards threatening your boyfriends and telling their friends to watch what they say about you.  You are constantly trying to impart your vast wisdom on your brothers, to, and I quote, "make them smarter."  Last year YOUR Christmas list actually said, "workbooks for Blade and Ryder so I can make them smarter."  See, you really do care!

For all our differences, you are a huge part of my heart.  You made me a mom and taught me how to love unselfishly.  I'm a better person because you were born.  I can't imagine life without you Munchkin.  Thanks for bringing your light into our lives, may it always shine as brightly as it does today.  And may you call me Mommy til you're old and gray..amen. 

Love You To Infinity and Beyond,


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