Exactly 12 years ago, I was lying in a delivery room, holding my newborn daughter. The epidural had not yet worn off, and the shock and wonder hadn't either. It was late at night, which meant that we couldn't make too many phone calls. Punkin arrived 3 weeks early (we joke that it is the last time she was early for anything!), and I had already had one false alarm, so we didn't call people to tell them I was in labor until I was really in labor, and then it was too late to call. So the phone calls were a complete surprise to everyone. I called my mom last, because she was in Kenya, and I knew that she would be awake. We, the new and terrified parents, were certainly not going to go to sleep any time soon. I still remember the lame little squished sandwich they gave me at 11:00 p.m. I had not eaten anything for 12 hours, while simultaneously performing the most rigorous work I had ever done in my life. I used to laugh at my SIL's request for dinner after labor, but no more! And I really wanted more than a squished sandwich, but that is what there was.
Fast forward 12 years, and Punkin is a beautiful young woman, unsure and confident at the same time. Tall for her age (or any age: she's already taller than 3 of the adult women in our family), poised, smart and fun to be around, with a fierce sense of humor, she is growing into a wonderful woman I am proud to know and prouder to have had some influence on.
Happy 12th, Punkin! I love you.