Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ba De Ya - Never Was a Cloudy Day

This post was supposed to be written on the 22nd, but what with all the birthday festivities and tons of kids in my house, I couldn't get anywhere near the computer for most of Saturday. Let's just pretend it isn't slightly after midnight, okay?

Dear Stinkyjandra Luz Maria,

You were born at 7:08 pm fourteen years ago today, and you have kept me hopping ever since. You were never one of those cautious, "worried about what other people thought" kind of kids, like your sister. You've always had your own special sense of style.

I know we've tried to count how many trips we've taken with you to the emergency room, but it's easier to figure at least once a year. It's not like you ever meant to get into some of the scrapes you have, you've just had a little problem with boundaries. I've always said about you, that you will jump off a cliff and worry about where and how you're falling after you've hit the ground. When you were younger you used to climb to the top of any structure and laugh and ask, "Mommy, are you having a heart attack now?"

The answer to that was always, "Yes, honey. Now can you come down from there?" Said with that nervous hitch in my voice.

But you've also always been very, very funny...Just ask you. Once when you were two or three, I thought I lost you at Sears, and I was so frantic, I had everyone in the store looking for you. The only way we found you, was because you were hiding in the middle of one of those circular clothes hanging things and you were laughing so hard, you gave yourself away. After I went off on a long winded lecture, the first thing you said was, "But I funny Mama. I funny." Even at that age you knew that in our house, whatever you did was okay as long as it made me laugh.

As you've gotten older, you have been better about understanding boundaries. It's been a long hard struggle, but this Summer you finally got it. When we were talking about how much better behaved you had been, you said, "Well, I figure, that you let me do a lot of the things I want to do, unless I get in trouble and lose your trust. And I like having that kind of freedom, so being good isn't that hard anymore." Hey, it only took you thirteen years to figure that out, now maybe we can devote more energy into keeping your room clean.

You have grown into such an interesting person. Everyday you surprise me with you're fun and quirky ideas. Last Saturday, you met me a block away from home when I was running to ask if you could have a friend or two over for a tea party and you had the table set and everything ready to go. Today for your birthday, you invited your girlfriends over to paint t-shirts with some of our fabric paints, and you all spent over an hour drawing and painting. Of course, we can't forget your penchant for taking artistic self-portraits.

Mostly, I want to thank you for teaching me how to be a better parent and forcing me to be more of a girly girl. Before I had you, I had no idea that shoe shopping was a legitimate hobby. I can't wait to see what the world looks like from your eyes in the next fourteen years.


Jo Mama


Margaret said...

I now love Stinky too.

not fainthearted said...

Can I borrow her for a shopping trip? I need new shoes....

Tara said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Stinky!

I used to hide in those circular clothes racks too and braid the ties and belts, and freak my mom out when she couldn't find me.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Wow - that was a lovely read. Thanks Churlita. I can go on being an auntie knowing there are nutty & loving moms like you.

Joyce said...

Learning the fine art of shoe cool. I need to learn how to do that. I hope we're having as much fun as you guys when Sofia is 14.

Churlita said...


You should.


She would get you the best, most amazing pair of shoes you could ever imagine.


Thanks. That's great that you did that too...Probably not for your mom, though.


Nutty and loving are perfect adjectives to describe me.


I'm sure you will. You and Jim are such great parents.

laura b. said...

A belated happy birthday to young Stinky.
She sounds like a such a fascinating person.

David in DC said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Stinky.

I'm hoping Monkeyboy in DC turns out so well.

You've got a way cool mom. I'm glad you appreciate each other.

Poptart said...

I'm totally tearing up here at work. What a great post! Great pictures, too. Ah, Stinky. Time flies.

Churlita said...


She's a trip alright.


Monkey Boy seems really cool. He will be a great 14 year old.


I still have a picture of you holding her in the hospital.