Welcome to the World Baby Girl!!

Today is June 2nd. Today is Ellie’s 17th birthday. Today is the day every year I celebrate my daughter’s life and think back on the joy and love and friendship she has given me. It is hard to believe that 17 years ago I first laid eyes on that little girl. She has been a truly special person from the moment she was born. And I am lucky that even as she turns 17, she still counts me as both a mother and a friend. I don’t think that many moms are granted that degree of access at such a difficult time of life. (Although when she sees this post, things may change…)

For her birthday this year, Ellie wants to maintain some traditions and make at least one new one. Every year Ellie has a pool party. If you are born in June and have a pool in the backyard, this seems a logical choice. Jim and I live in terror of the evening each year. Hordes of rambunctious teens descend upon us and in turns plunge into the pool screaming with laughter and splashing like small whales, then they head to the pizza table demolishing unreal quanitities of food and soda, they crank up the music and head back to the pool for more bedlam. This goes on until way after dark. Amazingly (fingers crossed), we have had no drownings or injuries and just lots of great fun. The kids leave late into the evening wrapped in towels and dripping on their way to their parent’s cars. We end up with a wardrobe of cast off t-shirts, shorts, towels and an odd shoe or two. When Ellie was young I had a themed cake and lots of helium baloons to line the fence. I still get the balloons because I just love the colors, but the cake is now more grown up. I guess this year a bunch of the kids will drive themselves. Oh, dear, will we ever get them to go home?

The new tradition this year is that Ellie is asking everyone to donate to her walk rather than get her a present. I think this is a brilliant way to get her friends to participate and to build her donations up. Most of Ellie’s friends don’t really understand the idea of walking sixty miles. They express impatience with her needing to train and don’t have any idea how far sixty miles of walking really is. Of course, this is also an example just how special my baby girl is. (Yes, she is taller than me, but every parent knows that no matter how big they get, how old they are, or anything else, they are always our babies). It was her idea to ask for her friends to donate. I am really proud of the altruism and selflessness that is part of her character. She has lots of stuff she wants…new clothes, make up, and the really important stuff of teen life, but this is important to Ellie and she wants her friends to know it.

So, I wish my little girl a very happy birthday. I thank my stars she is in my life and I am so proud and pleased we are blogging and walking and living together. I wish her a long and happy life filled with joy and good health and love. I look forward to watching her to continue to grow into adulthood. Welcome to the world baby girl!!

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5 Comments to “Welcome to the World Baby Girl!!”

  1. Happy birthday, Ellie! You sound like a remarkable person, and you are clearly very loved and appreciated. I send you my very best wishes today as you continue to navigate the road to adulthood.

  2. Ellie, you are a gift to the world, and I thank you and your Mom for sharing your mission and your selflessness. Happy Birthday to you…….you made my day. Good wishes, and I will definitely make a donation to your effort.

  3. Sounds like you raised a great girl! Happy birthday Ellie!

    ~ Kristen

  4. What a lovely blog entry. I envy your mother daughter bond and it has inspired me to do something with my boys in a few years to replicate the experience. Go girls!!

  5. Thanks for the photo, Jenny. Ellie has certainly grown from the girl I remember at the restaraunt table here in Monterey. She is beautiful, apparently as much inside as out. You and she deserve one another. Happy Birthday, Ellie!

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