It’s hard to believe that you are now 24 years old. It seems like just yesterday you were born. Originally they predicted that you would be a Christmas eve baby. Anyway, you didn’t arrive as expected and we went to the movies on Christmas day. Don’t remember what we saw; but I do remember having a great time. The day before, there had been another ultrasound since you were late.. You were getting so big that the doctors said you were out of space and had to be born. But because the hospital was so full of people having babies, they told me to go home and show up the next morning at 6 am. If I had gone on thursday, I would have been in a bed being induced in the hallway. So, January 12th became your birthday. And like usual; we were late for our appointment.
It’s been an amazing 24 years. I’ve enjoyed most of the journey and loved watching you become a very competent; resourceful, and beautiful young woman. Can’t wait to see what happens next in your life. I am very proud of you and love you very much. As always, take care of yourself.
Since I can’t be there to host a party or give you a hug; will do some other things.
First. I promise to get both your birthday package and your box of stuff to be shipped actually into the mail today. Yes, it will be a bit late; but holidays are fungible anyway — to be celebrated whenever we can make that happen.
Second. Here is a collection of old photos. Enjoy seeing pictures from years past.
Baby Maggie, a few days old. See how you still look a little bit blotched and red. That’s the bruising that comes from being born. But you started out with a good set of lungs; well able to cry from an early age.
Baby Maggie at Cliff Park, Skanteateles, NY. We used to go there all the time; the hill top restaurant was a great place for Saturday or Sunday mornings. You spent many mornings as a baby in a car seat looking at the underside of a table. You were about 20 months old in this photo; taken in October when my friend Gail came out to visit. You could run and loved chasing the birds.
Painting in the backyard. We both had fun with finger paints. We bought a small plastic outside table that was great for you. It had a space where we could store lots of things. It’s still outside, holding up some of your dad’s orchids. And there are still paint stains from those early days although the finger paint is long gone.
Baby Maggie in the snow. It was fun buying you winter clothes. Lots of tights, warm pretty jackets, and plastic boots. Your dad bought you a small sled and you were frightened. It was never used. I wonder if that’s what happened with Makenna’s sled this year.
And of course you are not frightened of the sled anymore. For contrast, here you are at age 23 in the snow.
Molly the cat, she loved sleeping with you from the time you were a small baby. As a baby, you had bottles of milk that she could drink and lots of warm blankets. And of course, you moved when she pushed so everything could be just so for Molly. Even when you got bigger and were sleeping on the bed that Dad made for you, molly would sleep with you and Bumpo the elephant. Bumpo was supposed to be my stuffed animal; but from the time you could get around, you would steal him from me and sleep with him. So eventually he became yours.
You always loved reading. Everytime I turned around, you had your nose in a book. Here you are with a doctor seuss book–I think his alphabet book with aunt annie’s aligator and ten tired birds on a tuttle tuttle tree. Note the stylish 1970’s era decorations in our kitchen; I’m glad the wall and floor have been changed. We still have the screen door; but it’s a lot more substantial now with heavy duty ironwork to withstand climbing cats.
Here’s my earliest picture of three girls (plus Dad). Kate was less than a month old, she spent the first 4 weeks of life sleeping in the living room with a green light under her back. That was to help cure her jaundice. We all were fascinated with the new baby; you spent several nights sleeping on the floor in the living room with her.
Here’s a variation of this picture that shows your grandparents. They two enjoyed visiting with the baby.
And then there were many many outdoor activities. Your dad was always doing things with you that scared me. The surfboard is so much bigger than you and waves so big it scared me to watch you. And those stilts, I still remember being unable to watch you tromp around on them.
And for comparison sake, I thought you might like to see what your parents looked like at age 24. I was very pretty in those days and your dad; well just lets say he was the most handsome man around. We had lots fun doing outdoor’s things before any kids were born. No money since we were professional student; but that came with time to go on vacations.
The first two pictures were taken on a trip up along the coast. We stopped at a beach in Oregon; it was deserted. The day was actually warm. Further south on a colder gray day at a different beach, we found half of a dead sea lion. It was filled with gas and your dad decided to see what would happen if he poked it with a pocket knife. UGHHHH!!!! The stench that came from that carcass was really bad. It cleared the beach — no one could stand being near it. And we were both embarrassed; not admitting to being the ones who created the smell. Lesson learned — don’t poke bloated dead things with a pocket knife if you plan on staying at that site.
The next series of pictures is from my backpacking days. Your dad would go fly fishing and I took pictures. The second picture would be a beautiful painting. Now a quarter century after the picture was taken, I might actually have the skill to do that painting. It’s only a matter of finding the time.
This last picture reminds me of the many pictures I’ve seen of you in the woods. That enjoyment of hiking, you come by it naturally.
Happy Birthday Maggie. Hope you have a wonderful day.