Tag Archives: Birthday

My Megan


I wanted to do something special for you on your 16th birthday.  I know that 16, to a 15 year old is like discovering the Holy Grail (wait until you’re ready to turn 21…but don’t tell your mom or dad I said that…and remember you can call me to pick you up and drive you home) so I thought it would to do something you could remember.

At the risk of damaging your image irreparably in front of your friends at your party, I decided against working up a dance routine.  That same hesitance about dancing was also present when I thought about a collage of pictures for you.  Needless to say, as the first daughter/granddaughter/niece we were pretty liberal with the camera (unless you want your friends to see when you got a diaper change or bath).  I also decided against an intentionally sappy card from one of Hallmarks’ best writers.  I don’t know that a card could properly put in to words everything you are and besides, all anyone needs to do is spend 5 minutes in your company to realize just how confident, goofy, intelligent, beautiful, compassionate, clumsy, fun-loving, occasionally moody (you’re a teenager, we understand), and talented you are.

Instead I thought I would try, to the best of my abilities, to sum up this monumental birthday in my own words.  You see, because no card could illustrate how I felt the moment I first held you in my arms.

I was yours.  I felt a connection with you that, up until that point in my life, I never knew and something I have only ever felt three other times in my life (your brother, Hannah, and Emma being born were the other three times). You were my Megan…innocent, sweet, and smelling vaguely of sour formula but that didn’t matter because you were perfect.

I can’t begin to tell you what it has been like watching you grow up.  Of course the time never seems to last long enough for those moments we look back at so fondly but I can tell you that it has been my honor to be a part of your life and be there to watch it no matter how quickly it seemed to pass any of us by.  I have seen you go from a snuggling baby in my arms to a 16 year old young woman who has her entire life in front of her, waiting for her to take it.

But I hope you remember to be 16.  Life flies by, moves a mile a minute, and any other speed cliché you want to attach to it.  Enjoy each stop along the way because there will come that time when you wish to have just a moment of your youth again.

Never lose those endearing qualities that make you who you are because who you are is someone so unique and so special.

I hope you never find a boyfriend…ok; I did that one for your dad.

As Hannah and Emma grow up, I pray they grow up to be just like you.

When you find success, never let it go.  When failure finds you, and believe me, it will find you (it finds all of us from time to time); shove it out of the way.

While I let you stay up later than your parents and generally get to be the fun uncle, you are my responsibility too.  To that end, I will push you if needed and protect you with the same intensity and ferocity as your parents.

Happy Birthday Megan.  Sixteen or not, when I look at you, I will always be able to see you as a baby, cradled in my arms.  Not because I long for those days again but because that’s when I first met you and you changed my life.  From the first moment I held you until the day I draw my last breath on this Earth, I will always love you and I will always be your Uncle Jimmy.  And you will always be my Megan.

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2012-12-21 21.29.27

At 10

I know how excited you are.  It is written all over your face.  On the cusp of turning 10, this July 23rd is going to be a monumental birthday for you.  It is going to be for me as well.  Every step (literally and figuratively) of your life I have recorded in my mind.  The thought of my baby girl turning 10 is hard to believe when I can remember fumbling for a bottle for you at 2am.

There was no greater feeling in my life (with your sister too) than when I held you in my arms for the first time.  At 1, you fit perfectly there.  Everything about you was perfect even though I wasn’t (figuring out a hungry cry vs. a wet cry took me a little longer than most). I can’t begin to tell you what it’s like knowing I had a hand in the beautifully perfect life spitting up on my shoulder.

You began walking and talking at two.  Each one, you did with more regularity, confidence, and volume.  It was the closest I had come close to panicking as I rushed from work to the Emergency Room.  You had fallen off your bed and hurt your neck. I sat in the X-Ray room, holding your hand, promising everything would be ok as doctors examined your neck and I got massive doses of radiation (I would do it again without a moment’s hesitation).

At 3 you became a big sister (and I became a professional arbitrator for your sister and you).  You learned about death when I told you Pop Pop went to heaven.  You didn’t quite understand other than you knew you were not going to be able to see him again.  Its ok you didn’t understand why he had to go to heaven. I didn’t understand it either. And its ok you didn’t cry.  I did for both of us.

You never wanted to be 4.  I have never quite figured out why?  Even after your mom and I explained how cool being 4 would be, you were left unconvinced (not the last time you wouldn’t believe me)

Starting Kindergarten at 5 was as close as I’ve seen your mom get to hyperventilating.  It was also the first time I remember wondering what happened to the tiny baby I used to hold as the bus took you to your first day.

You tried at 6 to not only a big sister but a second mom to Emma after you came to grips with the fact she wasn’t going anywhere so you made the best of being a big sister. And when you went on the bus to go to 1st grade, I waved again and tried to calm your mom down.

You began to conquer your fears at 7. You mastered a bike without training wheels, you went on roller coasters, and did things I had never seen (or thought) you would do.  It was also when I saw the side of you (caring, compassionate, and protective) that makes you such a good big sister.

Your first Holy Communion came at 8.  Standing in front of me was an angel dressed in white and looking far too old to be my little girl.  It has been one of the few times I considered the possibility of there being a heaven.  How else could I explain how blessed I was to have you in my life?

It was just this year, at 9, the little girl who wanted so badly to be a big girl, asked her Daddy to carry her up to bed.  It was the year you finished elementary school and your mom started hyperventilating at the end of the school year instead of just at the beginning.  It was the year you could think only of being 10.

I know you’re focused on your birthday now but these past nine years are moments that will forever be apart of my memories.  As will the days of your life that are yet to come. I remember because I’m your dad and part of me will always want you to be the baby who fit so perfectly in to my arms.  But a bigger part of me knows that these memories are to be remembered fondly but not at the expense of what and who is right in front of me.

So while it may seem as though I cling to the past nine years of your life Hannah, know that this year and this birthday is no different than how I felt for your birthday at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9.  I will always remember but I will also always share your anticipation and excitement, this time, at the thought of your life at 10.