Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kelly!

My sweet Kelly.

You were my summer baby. My little Leo with the soft brown hair and big green eyes. Sweet, inquisitive, loving, but fiercely independent and determined. You've always been a joy.

I remember:

The day you were born, walking at the mall to hurry things along. Then you came so quickly that Dad had no time to take a shower.

The way you slept through the night so soon, and always woke up happy and delighted to begin a new day.

How you loved oatmeal and applesauce, and insisted on feeding yourself so that I had to put your high chair on an old shower curtain to protect the floor. :o)

Your enormous love for all living creatures. You were the reason we invited animals into our life. Happy, Taffy, Usdi, numerous hamsters and hermit crabs, and even the chicken named Quipper who sat on your knee while you played video games and came when you called him.

Night after night of bedtime reading--especially the Little House books. I remember lots of Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Cabbage Patch kids, roller skates and bikes.

Your love for art. I found a little book the other day that you had written and illustrated for Josh when he was a toddler. Charming! I remember how, as a teen, you would stay in your room for hours, drawing picture after picture of elves and other fantasy characters. I remember flying from Japan to the US on a Mac flight, and a shy boy stopping by your seat to watch you draw. Do you remember that?

Being surprised when testing showed your high aptitude for science when you were only in second grade. Surprised, I suppose, because you sure didn't get that from me. :o)

How my heart ached for you when we moved to Hawaii and you had a hard time adjusting to such a new culture. But you adapted with grace. I remember watching you learn to ride at Camp Smith and how you loved the ocean, the flowers, the geckos. (But not the ants).

All the friends you made in high school in Japan. Trips to Tokyo on the train. Your prom. Our trip to Kyoto, where the deer and Japanese teenagers followed you around as if you were a Pied Piper. :o) Teaching you to drive at Depot (on the wrong side of the road in a Japanese car with the driver's seat on the opposite side). Yikes!

How difficult it was for you to have to leave Zama before your last year of high school, and then to go to one of the largest high schools in Texas for your senior year. :o( But you never lost your sense of humor and the joy you find in life. Remember the little car we shared your senior year? And how Angel "crook park-ed?" And the pumpkin cake you made in Converse?

The summer of the river rat, and all those boyfriends who were afraid of me. (For good reason). :o)

Your determination to go to college--sometimes at night and while you were working. It took awhile, but you did it! Your college graduation--we were so proud of you!

And then there's that guy you married. I remember the day you told me that you had met someone the night before, and you thought he might be the one. I remember meeting him and thinking, "Uh oh, this one is going to be serious." We liked him right away, and loved him when he came to us to ask if he could marry you. We love him still.

I love the way you have taken the things you love--nature, animals, art, science--and combined them in your jewelry business. It's so uniquely you.

I could go on and on. There are a million, million memories that we share, and I treasure them, Kelly. And I treasure you. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!



Linda said...

What beautiful memories. Happy birthday to both of you.

Sarah - Kala said...

Oh, this was so beautiful. You are both very blessed! Happy Birthday, Kelly! Aloha!

Kalona said...

Thank you, Sarah. Our children are truly blessings in our life, and I thank God for them.

Kalona said...

Linda, thank you. I do love to celebrate the birthdays of our kids. After all, I'm probably the one who remembers it best. :o)

Kelly said...

Thanks Mom for the wonderful birthday wishes and all the memories you just re-counted for me! You are the best mom in the world and I love you.

I remember all of it and more. Thanks for being so supportive of me (even during the crazy teenage years). :-)