After more than four decades of watching and knowing my daughter, I continue to appreciate her strengths and talents. We’re alike because we love to travel and enjoy making people laugh. We’re different because she’s more empathetic and doesn’t need a public microphone. Here are some interesting facts about her.
1. She is a resilient maverick. After 22 hours of labor, she emerged between metal forceps as the doctor braced his foot against the bed and pulled. She weighed almost 10 pounds and was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit with an Apgar Score of 3. That’s when I knew all the pleasant birth and parenting videos were wrong. I finally got to see and hold her 12 hours later. For the next few months, I woke to touch her every few hours to make sure she was breathing.
2. She is precocious. We loved to read books together, and she memorized more than 20 nursery rhymes by the age of two. I know that’s true because I wrote about it in my journal. She’s still an avid reader.
3. She is adaptable. She had six bedrooms in two states by the time she was six. The photo in the rocking chair was taken when we lived at Sand Springs Ranch on the edge of a canyon overlooking the Snake River. We were forced to move, I was seven months pregnant, and she became my dependable helper.
4. She is organized. We created and hosted wellness retreats for women at mountain cabins in Central Idaho. She taught yoga, made healthy meals, and guided the groups on hiking excursions to hidden hot springs. She created crafts for the participants and led inspirational workshops. She also taught me how to set up a website and establish social media accounts. Now she plans workshops, retreats, a podcast, events, and goat yoga.
5. She is healthy. She owned the Stroller Strides franchise and helped young mothers exercise with their babies. She opened a private gym and tailored classes to all ages of women. We jogged in the 5K Women’s Fitness Challenge in Boise. I was one of the last people at the end of the race, but I finished.
6. She loves the arts. We saw Broadway musicals in London, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. She starred in a play in high school and later at a community theatre in Hawaii. She also won a writing award from the Idaho Writers Guild and helped translate one of my children’s books.
7. She loves to travel. We traveled to Europe twice and visited France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. We enjoyed excursions when she studied for a year in Guanajuato, Mexico. We traveled with my mother on an 11-day train trip across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. (We decided three days would have been sufficient.)
8. She’s funny and has an amazing sense of humor. As a child, she could make me laugh at her stories, antics, and imitations.
9. She is ready for adventure. She visited Hawaii after college graduation and decided to stay. She taught at the Waldorf School on Maui and worked on a tourist boat. When I was 52, we hiked and backpacked for three days across the Haleakala Crater on Maui, Hawaii. I was ready to quit and go live in the forest, but she encouraged me to keep going. So, I did. She returned to Idaho with her future husband and a sweet baby girl.
10. She speaks with authentic compassion. Her eulogy to my mother blended affection, humor, and inspiration to her memories of her beloved Grandma Sweetie.
One key fact about my daughter is that she is an incredible mother. She has two unique and precious daughters, and they are confident, talented girls. After my daughter had a baby with special needs, the medical professionals told her the baby wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. “Hold my beer” could have been her motto. She worked with the baby until she proved to the doctors that it could be done. Her dedication to her family is commendable.
If I could change anything about raising my daughter, it would be to reduce the long hours she spent in various childcare facilities. I worked full-time to pay the bills and establish my career, and there weren’t any job-sharing opportunities available. Those crucial years can’t be replaced. The bittersweet irony of motherhood is that we live more years without our children than with them. That’s another fact not explained in the parenting videos.
I love my daughter and wish her good health and happiness..
Jeanie King says
This is one of the most inspiring birthday tributes ever. Thank you for sharing everything you love, which makes me love her too.