Thursday, October 1, 2009


Twenty-three years ago today, Daughter arrived in this world somewhat against her will. And if you know much about her, she has quite a will. When she was just two years old, she stood at the top of the stairs in her pink dress and white cowboy boots, demanding something or other. Probably a cupcake. When I didn't comply, she responded by holding her breath until she passed out, tumbling down the stairs.

Daughter got her head stuck between the wrought-iron railing of those same stairs when she was three. It didn't matter if we suggested that she "not stick her head between the rails," because if Daughter wanted to do something, well, she usually did it. The neighbors gathered to assess the situation and we alternately greased her head with oil and shortening and soap. Finally her dad got the jack from the car and pumped the iron railings far enough apart for her to remove her goopy little self. As I recall, she was mad that she had to take a bath afterward.

When she was not yet five, she announced that she was going to "ride her two-wheel bike now." I must have given her some sort of encouragement, because she ran outside. Less than thirty minutes later, she returned to the kitchen, urging me to watch her "ride a big girl bike." I figured she'd be scooting herself along, Fred-Flintstone style. Imagine my surprise when she hopped on the bike--by herself--and rode happily down the street, the wind blowing her pigtails.

Daughter came up missing one day when she was eight. I wasn't too concerned; we lived in a pleasant family neighborhood. But nonetheless, I went on a search. When I finally found her, she explained that she had been going from door-to-door selling tickets to a "show" that she would put on a few hours later on our front lawn. Before I chastised her, and explained that she "can't sell tickets to a show no one wants to see," she pulled wads of dollar bills from her pockets and looked up at me in delight. So, we had a show.

As she grew, that determination became her great asset. When my own mother died, my barely-sixteen year old daughter stepped up to the plate. Together we made 100 enchiladas for the family dinner, side by side. Daughter found the strength to sing at the funeral and to become my dearest friend and greatest ally.

And now, we "share a brain between us." I never laugh harder than when I am with Daughter. I never feel more hopeful than when we are together. I have hope for my Daughter, hope for myself and hope for many more years of birthdays.

I love you, Dottie.

1 comment:

Amanda P said...

And I love you! Thank you for making it possible for me to be here today!