Miss Alex is going to be 17 on Sunday. How did that happen?
She flew into the world, stronger and fiestier than a 4 1/2 pound baby had the right to be. Here she is with Kate’s doll, Peg (named for her one leg). When Alex hit 5 pounds, we took a photo of her next to a 5 lb. fryer. That was a big day. Last year I wrote about what makes Alex such a delight here.
She’s still a delight. But I am also remembering other moments….like the year (or perhaps two) when she wouldn’t let us comb her hair. She would get a bird’s nest in the back of her head that had to be cut out every few months. Her theme song was “My hair had a party last night.” For a long time we used horse mane and tail conditioner on it.
I’m also remembering the year when she refused to sleep in her bed, and fell asleep on the studio floor every night, as Steve painted. She moved to the book corner, the living room floor, next to our bed, and back to the studio. She still has weeks when she prefers the sofa to the bed, and she always likes to be near Steve painting.
There was the time she stood up in the pew of a fancy church at a fancy wedding and proclaimed, “this is too much dress for me mommy.” She was right, it was, and she enjoyed the rest of the wedding in a ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’ t shirt. For years she only wore clothes from the little boys department and eventually would do back to school shopping only if we could finish in 15 minutes or less (she timed me). Today she still prefers the thrift stores to department stores, but she does have a thing for jackets, boots and scarves.
There was the year she decided (and we secretly doubted her) she was going to go to the USA Nationals in Weightlifting and compete with the best in the country….oh that was last year! The same year she decided she is going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. No longer doubting.
She’s had a great year. She had a fantastic pitching season with the JV Softball team, and she coached an 8U girls team (the Sugar Babies, how cute is that?). She spent five weeks away as a camp counselor. She drives (as in she drives herself everywhere). She has had a blast with her sister and Brendan, she’s made her fabulous chocolate chip cookies for everyone she knows. She’s figured out how to take the train to San Francisco (without us, that is). And she’s been a really good friend. I think that’s the part I am most proud of. Alex is a wonderful friend.
She’s celebrating her birthday with Baby Avery (while we have given her many things, we have been neglectful in the baby brother department) and then she’s taking six girlfriends to the Melting Pot for fondue. And a campfire and a sleepover, because she still can.
I am hoping that some time this weekend Alex will cuddle with me and let me tell her the story of the morning she was born, and how delighted we were to meet her. And how much fun it is being her mom, and how much I love still getting to know her, and watch her become the fantastic, strong-willed, self-assured, sensitive, caring and very, very funny person she is.
While I still can.
Happy Birthday, Allie Rose. I love you.