Friday, September 18, 2009

A Study In Contrasts....

Recent self-portrait for art class

How is it that 19 years can go by as quickly as 19 months?

In fact I remember like it was yesterday the day I took my Olivia in for her 18 month checkup.

Don't ask me why, I just do. I even remember the outfit she was wearing...

Oh the information we choose to store in our minds!

Yet ask me what I came into a room for and I'm stumped. :)

Today is Olivia's 19th birthday and it struck me that some things never change and some things REALLY change!

Here's are some things that have changed:

1.) When she was a toddler, she would have been excited to be going to Disney World to see Mickey and Goofey, etc.....

Today, she left in a car BY HERSELF to go to Disney World's "Hollywood Studios" where Mickey takes a bit more of a backseat to attractions like American Idol Experience, etc...

As I type this at 9:15PM, she's still not home but I'm glad she's out having fun on her big day. :)

2.) As a little one, she would have had fun playing at her pink plastic Little Tikes "vanity" with mirror and cubbies for her pretend makeup....

Tomorrow, we take her to get a tattoo. UGH... did I just say that?

Yes... The one she wants is really amazing...

Its a beautiful sparrow with the bible verse Luke 12 verses 6-7:

"Are not 5 sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid - you are worth more than many sparrows."

You tell me....

When your daughter approaches you with such an idea, such a beautiful and meaningfully chosen verse,

what are the grounds for a "no"?

3.) When she was just a toddler, I remember taking walks outside with her holding her toy Disney-themed cassette player, playing all manner of children's cassettes.

Today, her music player of choice is her iPod Touch.

4.) I vividly remember her camping out at our kitchen table (which we have to this day) creating, drawing, coloring, playing with Play-Doh, etc.

Let's just say that Michael's, Walmart and Target have made a large chunk of change off us in the way of markers, pens, papers, coloring books, paints, glitter, and glue sticks!

Our kitchen table still has some of the glitter paint on it from years gone by.

Or all the piano and guitar lessons we made our way to and from for years and years... she seemed to have such a gift for learning music.
Today, I can still walk up onto the porch and hear the most heavenly music
wafting through the air, as she sits down to the piano on a whim,
to play
just for the fun of it.

Fast-forward to today
when she is a gifted art major at a local university ...
on an
art scholarship.

But some things have not changed at all...

1.) The little soft, fine "baby hairs" right at the nape of her neck, that you can only see if her hair is pulled up (like when she wants me to rub her back) are still exactly as they were when she was a baby.... And the little "angel kiss" mark is still there too...


2.) I still see that little-girl look about her when she's sleeping and I go in to wake her up....
I still get flash-backs even now from when I used to tip-toe into her nursery
and peek into her crib at her.
(Okay, feeling tears well up now...)


3.) Her crazy, silly wit and sense of humor. You wouldn't expect it if you just meet her for the first time, but trust me... that zaniness is under there... :)

I'm fairly certain she's gonna kill me for putting this one up...
taken either in middle school or early high school...
sorry, hon....
parental rights and all that. ;)

4.) Her gentle, sweet spirit and very quiet manner -- but oh how still waters run deep.
Her love of God is amazing
and oh the stories I could tell about the almost hard-to-believe close bond she and He have had since she was small.
That has only grown over her years
and it is beautiful to witness.


5.) Her sweet smile, her big, gorgeous eyes,

My word, that child has some hair.
She came into the world with a FULL head of hair
("black as pitch" as my mom would say)
and unlike some newborns experience, she never lost hers.


I love her.

I always will.

I'm so stinkin' proud of her.

She's growing and changing more and more and I'm seeing ever more of her daddy in her personality.

All decked out for her 8th grade dance...

This is a good thing, since his traits will balance out those tendencies she gets from me to be somewhat of a push-over and maybe even a bit too much of a softy.

Well, thanks for letting me use this space to mark this birthday and publicly state how very, very much I am thankful for that girl.

I don't know exactly when or how it happened, but somehow we've become the best of friends.

I'd trust her with any secret (not that I have any, mind you.... ) and I'd covet her honest opinion on just about anything.

In many ways I even look up to her because I see in her a boldness and commitment in her faith that I fear I lack at times.

Somehow my teaching her

morphed into her at times teaching me...

What a girl.


What a young lady....

Happy Birthday, Nonni (she'll understand...)

I Love You, Hon. Oh...

~Marmalade (marm).


Cyndi said...

Oh wow that was beautiful!! She is beautiful!! How do they grow up so quickly? I hope she has a wonderful birthday, oh to be nineteen again:)

Simply Stated ~ Rebecca said...

What a beautifully touching post Ruth. I couldn’t read with out a dry eye…of special moments treasured…How quickly they grow and how proud they make us. A Happy 19th Birthday to Olivia and a hug to you from one mom to another…job well done! ;-)

north pal said...

simply the most beautiful tribute to your super daughter. misty eyes i had as i read and listened to the song. love the free spirited child in the car. the bestest birthday celebrating to all of you. there will be cake, right? Denise

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Thanks so much, Denise. YOU BET there is cake!

One of the chocolatiest, fudgiest, most decadent cakes on the planet is waiting for when she hits the door tonight....

Great Skyping with you as always!

Talk soon!


donna said...

It's always such a blessing to read your wonderful blog!This morning as I sit here I'm touched by the bond you have with your beautiful daughter. In a world where we often here of failed relationships with parents and children...It makes my heart glad knowin that you and Olivia are out there. Blessings to you BOTH! (I went thru the tatto thing with mine about 3 years ago! It's not so bad)

The Flying Bee said...

This was a beautiful post!

I hope she had the best birthday ever!

Happy Birthday Olivia!

suddenly I see said...

happy birthday to your daughter! we just found out that our daughter and her husband are expecting- a surprise to us all- so, just wait marriages and babies come along...neverending!

Heidi said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter! What an amazing post and special relationship you must have! Thanks so much for sharing it with us all!

LuLu said...

So beautiful and touching! thank you sharing this amazing post with us. I have tears in my eyes... what a gift it is to be a mother! Happy birthday to your lovely young lady!
and a special day for you too, for mothering her to be who she is today,

Teri said...

Awesome, awesome post. Haven't had time to read any other blogs, but so glad I stopped by to read yours.

Tell Olivia we said "have a happy!"


Laura said...

Happy Birthday to your Olivia....
You have a treasure,a gift, that beautiful and special relationship. May it always be so!

Bonjour Madame said...

What a beautiful girl and a sweet tribute!

denise, the prime magpie said...

Dangit. Now you've done it. Tears welling up. Wanting to sob a bit. What a beautiful and tender tribute to a daughter from a loving mother. It's a love that's so powerful, it's difficult to describe, but you've done quite a marvelous job of it here. *sniff*