Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful: Oldest Daughter in the Spotlight

I have five children, and as every parent of more than one child knows, whatever you do with your oldest child sets a precedent for the others.  For example, if you publish a TToT post on one child's birthday, you better be prepared to publish birthday posts for all of the kids--except those who would be mortified, of course.

Before next weekend's TToT post, my oldest daughter will be "one year older and wiser, too," so I've been walking down memory lane, reflecting on thankfuls concerning my daughter.  I'm thankful. . .

. . . for her kind heart.  When she was in kindergarten, she befriended two little Russian girls at her school.  They didn't speak much English; she didn't speak Russian, and yet, they managed to communicate and become friends.  She recognized they were lonely, reached out to them, and gained new friends in the process.

. . .  that she is opinionated, but not demanding.  Every year, when John would take the boys on a father's and sons' outing, the girls and I would enjoy a girls' night.  When oldest (and only, at that point) daughter was about 4, I asked her what she wanted to do while John and the boys were gone.  I was anticipating a restaurant request, or a suggestion to go to a movie or park.  She immediately responded, "Let's color together!"  Crayons were readily available in our house, and she often would color.  I, however, did not usually join in when the kids were coloring.  I spent hours reading books with my kids, and we frequented parks, libraries, and the children's museum, but I got other things done when they colored.  Her quick sentence reminded me that I needed to be more aware of her desires, because she wouldn't necessarily volunteer them.



. . .  for the cute speech patterns of childhood.  Though she wasn't demanding, she did speak early and often.  (I kid you not, she said, "Thank you" at nine months old, when a woman in the pew behind us at church handed my daughter a toy my daughter had dropped!) She generally was easy to understand, but I remember childhood malapropisms fondly.  When she was two, I spent 6 weeks in the hospital.  I loved hearing my daughter's voice on the phone, wanting to come to the "hosbibble" to give me rides in a "wheelbarrow."  The mental image of my pregnant self being paraded through the hospital corridors in a wheelbarrow always made me chuckle.  




Daughter with me in the "hosbibble"

. . . for her determination.  When she was 10, she decided to read the scriptures in their entirety.  She impressed me with her questions, and I realized she was not just skimming over the words, but really thinking about what she was reading.  She read the King James' version of the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price before she was 11.  




Her love of reading started early.

. . . for her ability to "tough it out."  At a church campout when she was 4 or 5, she fell and ended up hitting the dirt with her face.  On our way to the emergency room, she told me that she hurt.  I told her that I knew, and that she would feel better in a couple of days when the cuts started healing.  When we reached the hospital and the doctors and nurses were cleaning her wounds, they flushed out lots of pebbles from inside her mouth.  Poor kid!  If I had realized she had rocks embedded in her gums, I could have given her hope for more immediate relief.  Instead, in my ignorance, I had told her she would feel better in a couple of days, and she had stoically accepted my answer.

. . . for her intelligence.  She tried out for Mathletes in middle school, and ended up not only making the team, but placing first in the local competition.

. . . for her desire to succeed.  She walked later than she could have, just because she didn't want to fall.  The Mathlete tryouts I mentioned previously?  She didn't even tell me she was trying out, until she knew she had made the team!  It's OK to fall (or fail), but I admire her desire to do well.  

. . . for her ability to negotiate.  She recently purchased a car.  I was a bit concerned that the dealer might take advantage of her inexperience in car buying, but my daughter did her homework and negotiated a fair price.  When the dealer asked why my daughter thought the price was too high, she responded, "Because I checked the Kelley Blue Book!"  The dealer not only substantially dropped the price, he fixed the stereo, too.  

. . . for her ability to get along with others.  My boys would want to play with Legos; my daughter would want to play with stuffed animals.  Somehow, they managed to play "Cats and Legos" together for hours and hours.  Ask my kids about happy childhood memories, and "Cats and Legos" will probably make the list. 

Notice the markings on this toy cat. . .
 
. . . and compare them to her first real cat!


. . . for the fun we have together.  We sound alike, we laugh alike, and we both enjoy spending time together!





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Thanks for oldest daughter!  Happy birthday!  I love you!

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36 comments:

  1. Kristi, this is such a beautiful and devoted statement of your love for your daughter. She sounds like an incredible girl with a wonderful spirit. Considering that you are her mom, I'm not surprised at all. What a blessing she is! Thank you for letting us share her birthday and your lovely memories! I loved this!

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    1. Thanks, Sandy. I'm lucky to be her mom. :-)

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  2. Such a sweet list. Happy birthday to her. She sounds like a young lady with many outstanding qualities, which have been present through her lifetime :)

    And I *love* "hosbibble". Too cute :D

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    1. Children come with their own set of wonderfulness; I'm lucky to be her mom. "Hosbibble" is just icing on the cake. :-)

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  3. Happy birthday to your girl! I love how you dedicated this post to her. She sounds like a great girl!

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    1. She is. I'm so glad she's my daughter.

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  4. Happy Birthday to your girl...what a wonderful list!!!!! What a truly wonderful relationship you both have all the things she possess and can do is because of you and your husband!

    XO
    Marisa

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    1. We try to be good parents, and thank you for the compliment. I do think, however, that she gets the credit for how her life has turned out. I learn from each of my children!

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  5. What a wealthy woman you are, being the parent of not just this one fantastic girl, but 4 other great individuals as well!! I love how indipendend she is, strong and fun in one. Happy birthday to her!!!

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    1. I appreciate your kind comments. I'll pass along your birthday greetings!

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  6. Hey! I remember that hopsital room (& I'm sure you do too!)!! Happy birthday to a beautiful girl.

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    1. Jenna, you were one of my life-savers during those long months. I don't know how you still have 2 ears, because I'm sure I talked them off! And I have no idea how many times you watched my kids when I couldn't. My hospital room was decorated so nicely thanks in part to you, too. I really can't thank you enough for all that you did!

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  7. ok whose cuter? you in the last photo or her with the kitty? HAPPY BIRTHDAY! What a great kid... those pebbles in the mouth made my teeth hurt though!

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    1. Oh, my daughter, for sure! I've dubbed that picture one of the "tonsil photos"--you know, the ones where the kids are laughing so hard their tonsils are nearly (or literally) visible. :-)

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  8. A delightful posts. The photos are priceless!

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    1. I had fun going through photos to find some to go along with the post. Sure brought back memories!

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  9. Being a mom with a now grown daughter that I love dearly, this entire post just touched my heart, and the pictures were a wonderful addition. Who could help but fall in love with this child? Lists such as this, imagine if every child received one growing up as a keepsake to treasure, you've definitely got something wonderful going here! I loved the post!

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    1. Thanks. Better late than never, I guess. I know she enjoyed reading this post, even if she's all grown up now. :-)

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    2. I'm thinking that she probably enjoyed it even more now, knowing that you see all these wonderful qualities in her is such an affirmation and gift of love!

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  10. very cool
    (relay best of Birthday Wishes to her, from us here at the Wakefield Doctrine).

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  11. She sounds wonderfully amazing! Smart, sensitive, assertive, everything you hope your daughter to be. Plus, those beautiful blue eyes! The story with the kindergarten girls, that is really something that she wanted to be their friend despite the language barrier. We could all learn from her. Good for her for doing her research with the car, smart cookie!
    I love "Cats & Legos" sounds like fun.

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    1. We call her a smart cookie all the time! :-)

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  12. Happy birthday to both of you! What a wonderful tribute to your daughter and her wonderful loving spirit! There is much to be thankful for. The similarity in the cats - uncanny! Kid malaprops are so great - we kind of miss Zilla's as they disappear. They grow up all too quickly.

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    1. I hadn't noticed how much the cats looked alike until I was pulling out photos for this post.

      Kids grow up in the blink of an eye!

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  13. What a sweet post for your daughter! Love the photo of her as a little girl with the books.

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    1. We had the greatest children's librarian, and story time was a highlight of our week.

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  14. Your daughter sounds like the perfect daughter. And I agree. Once you write about one child, you will definitely need to write about them all. But it is so cool and I loved reading about your daughter. All were great, but negotiating a car deal--amazing. I still freeze at that one. Happy Sunday to you Kristi.

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    1. My husband I always go together when we purchase a vehicle, so I haven't done that by myself. If I ever have to, I'll have to follow my daughter's example, I guess. :-)

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  15. Your daughter sounds like a wonderful young lady! Like you I am so glad that my daughter and I enjoy each others company so much. Then when you add Amara to the mix -- 3 generations of crazy love!

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    1. Oh, granddaughters are wonderful, too!

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  16. Happy, happy birthday to your daughter. She sounds amazing and I loved thinking about her wanting to wheel you around in a wheelbarrow while you were pregnant. Too adorable. And "thank you" at nine months? Super smart. No wonder she got a great deal on a car! Enjoy her birthday!!!

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    1. "Wheelbarrow" was because she couldn't come up with "wheelchair." I was sometimes allowed a wheelchair ride.

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  17. What a beautiful post. Sounds like you and your daughter have a wonderful relationship. Reminds me of my daughter and me.

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!