When my daughter, Kate, was born…in the early morning hours of a wintry Wednesday morning, thirty-nine years ago…my life was in flux.

I had gotten married at eighteen and had my first child just a year later. I hadn’t thought much about what else I’d wanted out of life, but motherhood changed that. My choices affected my daughter, too, so everything seemed more important.

I thought a great deal about every parenting decision and worried over everything that might unduly influence my child.

Though I swore, when I got out of high school, that I never wanted to step foot in a classroom again, I had started taking night classes. I started with a craft class, then my mother-in-law and I took a vegetarian cooking class, then I found a writing class. It reminded me that learning could be fun, and paved the way for my eventual college education.

In anticipation of having a new baby, our family had recently moved from the raggedy little cold and unfinished lake cottage into a brand new townhouse. For the first time in my adult life, I was “house-proud.” I enjoyed decorating and entertaining and – yes! – even cleaning.

I had started challenging the status quo. I no longer embraced my mother’s deferential attitude toward men in general and husbands in particular. I began to see  reason in what the new feminists were saying. I asserted my opinion, both at home and in public. I wrote to representatives; I passed out petitions; I boycotted beef, then sugar, then all Nestle’ products.

I had learned to drive. I had started an exercise program. I was learning to cook Chinese food. I was becoming a discerning reader and a lover of good books.

Big changes were happening in my life!

Little did I know, the greatest transformation would arrive in the early morning hours of that wintry Wednesday morning on December 11th.

I didn’t anticipate how much Katey would  change my life.

I never guessed how much my heart would expand with love for her.

I couldn’t have imagined how she’d constantly surprise me with her ability to make me laugh out loud…yell in frustration…lose sleep from worry…and be grateful every single day for her.

Happy Birthday to Katey!

13 responses »

  1. This made me cry.. Katey is and always was a special shining light in my life.. What a gift everyone who knows her has in her.

    • Thanks, Joss! She reports that she did have a good day, culminating in all of her family sitting down to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with her…and only half of them fell asleep! Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  2. Aww. I gotta say that was an absolutely beautiful story. And Katey has turned into a beautiful woman. I’ve always envied the way she stood up for herself and loved ones and spoke her mind . You did a wonderful job with your girls. And I love this picture of her. 🙂

  3. Blessings to Katey… From losing sleep to being lost in love, having kids is an amazing journey. I think of the ups and downs of raising our two and raise a holiday toast to you, Cindy.

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