Sixteen years ago I welcomed a new little person into my life. People used to call her the gerber baby. Her dark hair formed the cutest little curls and she had beautiful dark brown eyes. I loved just sitting and holding her, amazed by her.
I can hardly believe how much she's changed. My tiny baby has grown into a beautiful young woman - taller than me by several inches, long honey coloured hair, but still the same big brown eyes.
Her talents constantly impress me and I can't wait to see what wonderful things she accomplishes in her life. This year she started taking voice lessons and is developing her beautiful voice. I love to listen to her sing. She also encouraged me to start a writing group for her and some friends. I'm interested to see where her writing - which is already quite good - takes her.
As we celebrated her birthday this past weekend and it reminded me of my own sixteenth birthday. My mom made a big deal over my eligibility to date. I figured no one would ask me out, but played along with her anyway. Imagine my surprise when she told me to get dressed up on my birthday as I had a blind date. I didn't know what to think, knowing she was up to something, but not able to figure out what.
The night of my birthday, I put on a dress and tried not to be too nervous. The doorbell rang and my siblings ran to answer it. My dad stood there holding a single rose. I was so relieved to see him. He said he thought it would be a good idea for my first date to be with him. He escorted me to the car and said we had a few minutes before we had to leave for the restaurant for our reservations.
We drove around town then down to the 'fish pond'. There in the camp kitchen, they had set up a card table, covered it with a white table cloth, and my rose was the centerpiece. My dad pulled out a chair for me and my uncle stepped up to the table, a white dishcloth folded and draped over his arm. He handed us the menus - hand lettered by my grandma - and took our orders.
Since my birthday is in August, the weather was beautiful. My mom is a good cook, so the meal was scrumptious and my father was great company. What a wonderful opportunity to sit and visit with him.
After we ate salads and the main course, we left and went out to the cemetery. Dad talked to me about our family as we visited the graves of my grandparents. Listening to him I gained a new appreciation for my heritage and my father had for his family. After spending some time there (probably to give my uncle time to pack up the table and dishes and get back to the house.)
When we returned to the house the whole family waited for us, then we opened presents and had cake and ice cream. I think it is my most memorable birthday. I felt special and felt like my parents were truly acknowledging a milestone in my life. In the long run, I was correct. I didn't date much at all, yet Dad made my first date something I remember with fondness.