After I gave birth to Shannon, my oldest child, I wondered how I could love any other child as much as I loved her.
Then I had Erin.
And like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes that day. Funny how our hearts expand like that, allowing us to love bigger and deeper and more.
Today, my daughter Erin is 34 years old.
Of my three children, sometimes I think she's the most like me...and at other times, the most unlike me.
She's wicked smart (as my cousins in MA would say); she's a member of MENSA.
She's sarcastic, she's funny.
She's clumsy. She's broken bones (three trips to the ER for casts). And just last week, she tripped on the neighbor's driveway and sprained her ankle.
In these ways, she's a lot like me (though I am not as smart as she is, and I've not broken bones).
Then, the differences:
She's a neat freak.
She's organized. She's the only kid I know who'd get up early on a Saturday morning to clean out her closet.
She loved the toilet brush I bought her when she was nine.
She's far more ambitious than I am.
She's made me proud and made me laugh. She's caused me to be angry, and to look at things differently.
She's made me better than I was before. Her easy nature as a baby made me feel more confident about my parenting abilities (she was a far easier baby than Shannon was).
Erin's amazing...my new bright light on that cold November night.
Happy Birthday, Erin! I love you more than words can express. May this year be your best ever!