Twenty one years ago today, my life changed forever. I headed down a path I could never have imagined.
Sure, some of the things on the path were not fun for any of us, like sickness, trips to the emergency room, silly arguments over things I don't even remember anymore, the pain of losing a pet, disappointment over not going on that road trip, and the stress of middle school.
But there were so many more things on the path that were great, and fun, and funny, and lovely. Things that were fun for you, but we enjoyed because we never would have had them in our lives in exactly the same way if not for you.
Laughter when playing in the rain, softball games on a summer evening, Kitty and Serendipity and Tommy, Michelangelo, a captured duck, sleepovers with friends, sleepovers with "the girls", camping in the back yard with Amanda, church camp, Six Flags with "the boys", frilly little dresses, prom dresses, green beans as a present, Barbies, more Barbies, Barbie houses and clothes and cars and toys, Legos by the bucketful, painting a room teal, re-painting a room pink, being way too young to watch Nightmare on Elm Street, being stronger than the average girl, Tae Kwon Do, sticking up for friends, theater productions, choir concerts, track meets, track meets all the way across the state after staying up so late playing games that "some" adults might have been a little miffed, taking 2nd in that track meet anyway ; ), Girl Scouts, Girl Scout cookies and yard sales and chili suppers and pork butt sales, Memphis Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, NAMM show in Nashville, Dave Mustaine, Aerosmith in Carbondale, Geoff Tate and Mike Stone, Queensryche and Alice Cooper and Heaven & Hell in St. Louis, Styx and Def Leppard in St. Louis, the Art Museum in St. Louis, portfolio review and the Arch and getting lost in St. Louis, walking in the snow, sledding with Jess, getting stuck in the pool with Jess, Pimp My Ride with Jess and Lydia, Misconduct in the Corps of Discovery with Sarah and Jared, scary movie Dad-Daughter Date nights, haunted houses, costumes made from old bridesmaid dresses, flying kites in the park, playing on every single piece of equipment in the park, photography contest, pictures of Dad downtown, senior pictures downtown, graduation, Sweden.
I could never have guessed what was on the path I started down 21 years ago today, but it has been wonderful and though a lot of what I see on the path is now seen from a distance, I still love every second of it. I wouldn't have traded this journey for the world. Happy birthday, baby. I love you.