The Why family parenting pilot program turned NINETEEN this week.You have no idea how totally shocked I am every year about this time, to discover that I have actually allowed something not only to survive and thrive that long on my watch, but possibly even contributed to its... livingness. This record is second only to my 27-year-old draceana. And really, who can't grow a corn plant - you have to actively try to murder it... the corn plant, not the child... don't start rumors, here.
Our starter child didn't do much to ingratiate herself at the beginning. First, she had to be pried out sideways. Then there was the colic, and the eternal puking and general contrariness that tested the limits of my single, rather smallish maternal gene. I wasn't sure I'd ever forgive her for needing less sleep than I did. Added to that muddled mess was a heaping case of postpartum depression... back when they thought support groups were the answer to 'snapping out of it'. Unfortunately, I wasn't a snapper. So the beginning was... hard, but Alpha just went right on with the business of growing in spite of me.
Back in the early days, when we'd be out on the town, restocking the diaper or wine supplies, people would ask her age, as curious people do when confronted with mini-people. Besides being confused by whether to use weeks or months for baby-life measurement, I also had to brace for the inevitable eyebrows shooting up and the stifled 'Wtf do you feed her?!'
Baby steriods, duh!
She was always the biggest (and best) in her daycare and preschool classes. She was durable and virtually indestructible. She was popsicle sticks to the other toothpick kids - off the growth charts. This was a real blessing for her inept parents.
There have been the minor ups, downs and head butts over the years and I'm sure more will come but I have to say that I couldn't be happier or more proud to have Alpha as my daughter. She is smart and principled and responsible and many other good things. Bestly she is not her mother, or what her mother was at 19. For that, I thank God every day.
Did I mention that she is awesome... and pretty, too?
By the way, she's still darn durable but she quit growing about 7 or 8 years ago... too bad about my WNBA dreams. Happy Birthday, Alpha!
** Photo by Shanna