"If I do nothing else in this life, I have sent three amazing women into it." ~ Linda Sharp
Culley, Kendall, and Carson are amazing. Anyone who has had the privilege of entering their orbits knows this immediately. They are kind, funny, considerate, loving, open minded, accepting, and smart.
They are everything a parent hopes their child to grow to be.
Sixteen years ago today, Rudy and I entered the hospital and forcibly evicted Carson from the Uterine Towers (downtown at the corner of Ovary and Fallopian).
Sixteen years ago, this child, the one that we had not planned, came into this world, changing ours, enriching ours, completing a family we had thought to already be complete.
Face it, most of us aren't planned. Whether by pure accident or off timing, many, many, many of us are conceived unexpectedly. That doesn't mean unwanted. That simply means, "Whoa, how'd that happen?"
Carson did take us by surprise. We were content in thinking we were the typical 2 child family, but we obviously had not taken the steps to shut down the production facilities.
Something I am thankful for every single day.
For sixteen years I have had the honor of parenting this amazing human being. Watching her grow, figuring her out, marveling at talents that spring from within her, proud to see the person she is, what she stands for, how she embraces life.
I have often written that "Carson eats life with the big spoon." Would that we all were so brave and adventurous, so unafraid of what is around corners, comfortable in our own skin, confident in the stands we take, fearless in the face of confrontation, ignorance, bigotry.
For years I have dedicated space here to waxing rhapsodic about my daughters. Sharing their triumphs, their heartbreaks, their achievements, allowing you in to watch them grow. And in your indulgence of that, I know our extended "family" has grown, that so many of you truly do cheer at good news, want to hug them through the bad, and how you marvel at how long you have "known" them.
Carson's life is about to explode. I can feel it. And I mean it in a good way. She is entering her junior year of high school. She is entering the world of NCAA recruiting full speed ahead - already garnering her first offer last week from simply attending a camp at a Texas college - something that still has me stunned. A camp. Yes, she totally kicked ass at that camp, in fact the way I described it to Rudy was "she owned it". But to come home to an offer of a spot being held for her on their 2014 roster?
Well, I say it finally made it REAL to her, but in all honesty it finally made it real to me, too. Granted, it's not the Olympics, but I have a glimmer of how Gabby Douglas's mother has felt watching her child's hard fought for dreams come true.
I have had a front row seat for every training session, CATZ session, ball drill in the backyard, camp, private lesson, etc. I have been at the Ground Zero of the emotions she puts into this, what it takes out of her, her heart being broken by callous trainers, only to have a different trainer sweep in and lift her back up. I have seen the buckets of sweat, literal blood, painful injuries and recoveries, and too many tears to count. I have seen her juggle more committments than most adults ever will, and have seen what true dedication looks like. But to see it all finally culminating in her dream of playing collegiate being realized? It's a little surreal.
Her soccer is on track. Her passion for acting burns bright. Her art just as much. I share some on Facebook, and some of you are friends with her so you see it as she shares it. She is phenomenal. It is not just her ability to capture something and create it, it is the depth of emotion in her drawings.
She is only turning 16 and works for Engine 2 (through Whole Foods) drawing for their kids' newsletter. Some of you have already asked if she would do your Christmas cards.
It is exciting to think about where that talent will lead her once the expiration date of soccer playing has been reached.
As a person, well, that is where I am most proud. Carson is the rare person in this world (and even rarer to be so young and this way) that truly knows who she is. In a teenage girl world where long thick locks are coveted as dearly as One Direction tickets, she cut all hers off, because it suited her. She doesn't trowel on make-up, hiding behind mascara or believing that the right lip gloss will snag her the right guy. She doesn't do drama. Spare her the histrionics and angst of high school dating. She does friendships that are solid, true. She stands up for and defends those who are victimized, who are easy targets. She sees those who are marginalized by others, who are invisible, and draws them out. She makes people laugh. She makes people feel safe. She inspires.
For sixteen years I have had the honor and privilege of this child calling ME, Mom.
It might be her 16th birthday, but I get the gift of Carson every single day.
Happy Birthday, you amazing, crazy, talented girl. The world truly doesn't know what is about to hit it.