I have two children. Today, my youngest, my baby, my little Tay Tay turns 14 years old.
Tay Tay, 2014
I’m not exactly sure where the time goes. It may sound cliché, but it really does feel like she was just a little two-year old, toddling around the house on her fat little legs. I think now of how she would get into trouble with her brother, who is only 18 months older than her. She would follow him around as his sidekick — getting in trouble right along with him.
Cheesing for the camera, circa 2002
At 5:26pm on Nov 2, 2000 in the delivery room of the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital, Taylor came into the world, pink and screaming her head off. Taylor has been a quirky, loving child ever since. She loves to read, especially the Dork Diaries series of books. She likes magazines, and she loves to listen to music, watch videos and play games on her iPhone. She and her brother are still the fearsome twosome, best friends and worst enemies, depending on the day.
Having dinner at O’Charley’s, 2012
Taylor loves her family — especially her cousins. She spends part of the week with my mother, babysitting her younger cousins, and she loves every minute she gets to spend over there. She and her brother spent a lot of time at my mom’s house when they were growing up, and we lived there for a while after my divorce, so I feel like she will always see that as home, especially since we have moved around so much during her life. That house is her touchstone — she feels safe there, much in the same way that I do.
Face painting with Kaitlynn and Aleck, 2012
Taylor has been the joy in my life since the day she was born. We have been through a lot of ups and downs, especially when the teen years hit. She is unique — she has this unmatched charm and love of humanity, but it causes her to struggle to find a place in the world. She will continue to search for that for years, and if she doesn’t find it, I hope she has the strength to carve out her own place…just like her mom did.
Where does she fit in? With her brother and I, of course! She is an integral part of our personal three musketeers. She is always ready to give Mommy a hug and a smile. She can light up a room with her infectious smile. Her uniqueness and sense of humor are able to pick me up when I am at my lowest point. She shows her love through her actions. Ever since my separation from my second husband, she has started to check on me regularly — making sure that Mom is okay. And as long as she is smiling, I am. :)
Mom and Tay, 2013
I have never met a child with such a sweet innocence and unmarred outlook on the world, especially at the age of 14. I have high hopes for her. She loves art and is creating her own comic book. I could easily see her graduating from high school and going on to study art and animation. But, she also loves science, especially geology. So, she may go the science route and become a geologist. I hope she finds love in her future, and if she wants to get married and have children, I hope she is able to do that too. I want Taylor to be able to achieve everything she wants in life.
And right now? Well, right now, I want her to be able to enjoy her pumpkin cake and her birthday party with her family today! Happy Birthday, Taylor. I love you!
Pumpkin Cheesecake at California Pizza Kitchen, 11.01.14