Paige turned 14 this morning at 5:37 a.m., so it’s her Golden Birthday! I never heard of a Golden Birthday until I had kids (in other words, I didn’t celebrate it myself). If you don’t know what it means, it’s the year that you turn the age that equals the date of your birthday. So mine was the year I turned 28; Eric’s was the year he turned 3; Dave’s was the year he turned 27; and Paige’s is this year, since her birthday is August 14.
This is the first time in a while that there seems like such a big change between this year and the last. There are periods in childhood and adolescence where you notice a change year to year, but not a huge one. It really seems like Paige became a young woman in the past 12 months, though. My baby is really and truly growing up!
She’s still got some of the same traits and interests as when she was younger; she still loves animals, making lists, and decorating. She seems to have outgrown her obsession with Fall Out Boy and the color purple. She wears her hair straight now instead of the natural curls she was born with. We went out today to pick out her cake (plain cheesecake) and she wore platform shoes that made her tower over me…in fact, she towered over Dave in those shoes!
She’s still caring, thoughtful and quick to help in whatever way she can. When Dave couldn’t be around 2 days after my surgery, she stepped in and cheerfully refilled my water glass and made me lunch. She spent those first few days sitting out in the living room with me, reading her books and magazines, close by in case I needed anything.
She’s still a teenager and talks too fast for me sometimes, but she has infinite patience if I don’t catch what she’s saying. She’s also a top-notch fingerspeller so if nothing else, she will start spelling the word for me until I catch on.
Paige and I have a lot in common and she’s the person I grab if I want to do crafts or a cooking project. She loves interior decorating and choosing colors. And reading! The girl can while away the whole day with a book. She likes to play tennis, play solitaire and board games with the family.
It’s hard to believe that my youngest child is now entering high school. I can remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. It feels like she should only be 3 or 4 years old right now! I remember waking up with mild contractions around 3 a.m., August 14, 1994. I got up and walked to the couch in the living room to continue reading Stephen King’s “The Stand”, which I was about halfway through. I realized after a few pages that my contractions were getting much stronger so I started walking around to see if they would go away. Uh, no.
By 3:30 my parents were at the house to watch Eric and we were on the way to the hospital, which was 5 minutes away. Paige was born just over 2 hours later. The midwife caught her, placed her on my tummy, and she stayed there with me for most of the time until we went home at 9:00 that night.
Now I don’t need to tuck her in, pick out her clothes, or hold her hand when she crosses the street. She doesn’t need bedtime stories or songs. But she still cries on my shoulder when she’s sad and still talks to me about her day. She still watches my face for approval and reassurance. She still needs her mom, even though she’s growing up and away from me.
Happy 14th birthday, my sweet baby girl!