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She's My Girl

She was always the happiest, energetic little girl.  Today as she celebrates her birthday, even though she's much older now, she is still happy and energetic.  Look at that sweet face...I see both of her sons in that smile.  

I don't write much about Jenna and Chris because this is my thing, not theirs...but there are times, like special birthdays when I start to reflect and then I want to share with each of them my thoughts as they have grown into such wonderful adults. So today is Jenna's turn....maybe just like the boys, her boys, she needs a birthday letter also...I remember when she got married she wrote me a MOTB thank you note...during that time before the wedding I always referred to myself as the MOTB...her note to me, ended up being my gift.  She wrote it and framed it and shared with the early morning light on that day.  To this day that is still one of the most heartfelt gifts I have ever received...along with a similar type poem from her brother one Mother's Day...

So Jenna, it's been a long sprint from the photo above to the woman you are today...Oh my, the roads we traveled, both figuratively and personally.  When you were real little, like above, you were like a little doll that I could dress up and play with, the girl I thought I would never have.  Such a gift and quite unexpected but so grateful from day one for the gift of you. Your cuteness attracked a lot of attention as did your outgoiing personality..and very early on you learned how to manipulate all the men in your life...starting with your Dad and brother and working your way through your were always up for a fun time even if that only meant going to the hardware store with Dad...and I know you have long forgiven him for leaving you at the park one day when you were two and he was in charge...I'm still working on that. As you grew and started having your neighborhood friends, you would all zip in and out of the screen door like fireflies...I miss those early days of living in a neighborhood where we didn't worry if you circled the block on your own..or road your bike downtown when you were big enough and as I sit here trying to type with one good hand and the other in a cast because I fell of my bike, I am reminded of your trip around the block, going like the wind and rounding the corner, hitting a patch of sand.  You didn't break a limb but everyone in the neighborhood surely thought you were dying by the way you were screaming...but survive and move on you did...

You grew up in a flash,  right before my eyes...I wasn't ready for the swiftness of your leaving the nest, but leave you must. So the day came when we packed you off to college and I tried really hard not to cry but of course was no successful.  You worked hard, got your degree and then got married. You then decided to get your Master's Degree, while you were pregnant with Liam and working full time.  You amazed me with your stamina and courage and drive.  You are so smart it scares me...LOL...On the day you walked across that stage at Suffolk University, your Dad's alma mata, I couldn't have been more proud of you...the rim light that shines around you in this Maine photo, was from that time and your shinning still.  I love this sort of quiet, pensive photo of you...and the glow just exemplifies your quiet beauty.  Shortly after graduating you gifted us with the preciousness of Liam...we have enjoyed both boys for these last 6 years...another gift I have to thank your for.


Then along came Jaxson..special beyond words..I watched you stand by him all those months as you encouraged him to grow and be strong.  So many nights after leaving you there, I thought again of your strength and reserve that always brought you though for those boys.  Jaxson was a big test thought with so many ups and downs but you never wavered while he was in the hospital.  I don't know if I could have been so strong and brave and I wanted to lift some of your burden away but I couldn't. So we just stood with you day after day...finally Jaxson had enough of that hospital and he wanted going until he just drops and still you are always there to lift him up and hold him.  This photo taken in St. Maarten just thrills me each time I see you..the strength of both of you somehow shines through for me.  It reflects back your incredible mothering skills..I'll take a bow here also...I did teach you well..

Fast forward...Liam is now almost seven, Jaxson just turned four and life is good.  Oh my the fun you all have and the great places we go and the boys are so fortunate that you love Mother Nature as much as Dad and I.  You have learned that working hard is a necessary part of life but you have also learned the lesson of playing.  Dad and I watch how you interact with the boys and it very much reminds me of how we were when you and Chris were young..they follow you around like little ducks..eager to see where you will take them next...perhaps to the moon Mommy..or maybe to the bottom of the ocean where they know your love for them is endless, as it should be.  

The seasons come and go.  Here in New England we gather beauty all year long.  I see the beauty as I walk behind you as your Mom and your friend.  No matter where we all go, eventually, before long the road leads us back to each other very often.  I see the boys, comfortable and eager to learn and I honestly can say that one of my biggest thrills is catching you when your just doing your thing.  My camera records what I might forget as we move forward. Your birthday always ushers in the Fall colorful, crisp and full of promise for another year given and shared with us...

How special was this year...the boys are growing quickly and they are so aware of the outside world now. You allow them to seek their own likes and dislikes. They choose clothes and sports and foods, although the food part is a bit touchy now. Even with the new challenges, you set bounderies and hope for the best..with all of this, you continue to laugh and play. Such a unique gift you are giving them.  You also give that to me, as my best friend in all that we do together when time allows. Disney was the best this year and the most perfect age to give it a go. Life is lame and boring sometimes, a Jaxson quote. We struggle through our weeks with a to-do list to make life run as best we can. Sometimes, though you just have to put down your pencil and go. You do that for all of us...another Thank you...

So here we are, another fall is upon us.  The boys are now back in school.  Schedules are set and the days grow shorter.  I know though that you will carry on as you always do, mostly with a smile on your face and laughter in your heart as you move forward through this next season that you are entering...before you know it, you will be the one writing these letters to the that they know how valuable they are in your life as both you and Chris are in ours...gosh life would have been so boring without you both...

This photo of us Jenna, will always remind me of all the good girly times that we have had.  A tea party in Boston, just the two of us.  We have done a lot of tea houses together.. Little weekend getaways...a surprise trip to Chicago for your 25th birthday...that was thought we were going to the Cape until you figured out that Dad was driving us and that was pretty weird. Our trips to Nantucket, bike riding and almost running into Laura Bush.  I thought it was so nice that she stopped and talked to you, while the secret service asked me to step back with my big ass lens.  Our girly pre-wedding trip to Kennebunkport at that lovely little English Cottage...I think that is when we both fell in love with Kennebunkport. All of our crazy shopping trips where we would encourage each other to buy things that we didn't need or that sometimes were out of our budget but after a glass or two of wine...we'd say, "ah, the hell with it" and we would buy it anyways..I loved most though the times that we laughed histerically over something so stupid...and then we would think of it again and laugh some more...I couldn't find the crazy photo we took this day after tea where we laughted for days because I look like I was just let out of the loony bin...So many fun times..and this year with Newport on our calendar and West Side Story..

Yes, right from the beginning I knew that we would be best friends...and like best friends, it's not always roses and lollipops.  We have had a few meetings of the minds over the years but nothing breaks the bond of our togetherness...So let's just keep making plans...taking the boys here and there...let's keep going to tea and when we really want to break loose we'll drink some wine and we will laugh some more..but really lets take a year off from clothes closet is busting at the seams...on the other hand there is no limit on the shoes...

So Happy Birthday Jenna...this is going to be such a good year for us all, especially you.  Make things happen just like you always have...I'll walk beside you wherever you want to go...and we will continue to make here's the lesson I've learned from you...and you can take it on when it's your turn.. You taught me that letting go is hard in the beginning but you also taught me that you were always right around the corner...never really far away at all.  You left so you could make your life...and then you came back to me as a equal...but still calling me Mom..not such a bad deal...and now we have Liam and Jaxson...bonus..Thanks Sweet Baby you to the Moon and Back...Mom..

“ are my rainbow to keep. My eyes will always be watching you; never will I lose sight of you.” 
― Vesna Bailey


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Reader Comments (9)

Will you be my neighbor?
My long lost mom?
OK, I won't stretch you more than you already are, and will accept, gratefully, the special friendship we have.
You already know you are my SHEro . . . and all your writings just keep confirming your gifts of self-expression and GENUINE selfless love for your family and others. This post had me mesmerized, as always . . . and the resemblance between you and your daughter and grandson's is just remarkable. You are one Blessed Family! Again, thanks for ALL YOU SHARE. I LOVE your subject matter . . . always. Happy "belated" birthday to Jenna! xox A xox ps....when we go to GRB I'm going to pretend you are there with us, while I remember the special walk we had on the beach and the dinner together down at Cape Porpoise!
We MUST do this again sometime, dear Chery . . . I mean . . . do you know how close we live to one another!?!!!!!

September 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

So precious! Brought tears to my eyes, as I think about life with my own daughter, whose birthday happens to be September 18. Must be something about September girls. Lovely!

September 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

What a beautiful post. And I especially love the photo of your daughter and the two boys
as they are walking away. And in the first one I can see such a resemblance of the boys now that they are young!

September 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Thomas

Sweet post for your daughter and family, always love seeing you in the shots. Have a perfect weekend.

September 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Hurst

The most beautiful words I've read in a very, very, long time.
How very fortunate you are to have each other.

Happy Birthday, Jenna!!!

September 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Gordon

What a beautiful birthday tribute to your lovely daughter. I know she will cherish and hold dear each and every word you have written to her. A relationship such as the two of you have is priceless.

September 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Thank you all for your kind words on this post for my lovely daughter...I am so thankful for your friendship and support....xo

September 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Momma and Daughter, Momma and sons, such a lovely family and your stories always always warm my heart. Your affection and attention to each one is very very special, and I'm sure they each one have a very special place in their heart for you. This is one of the most beautifully written "letters" I've ever read. You are truly gifted with words Cheryl!

October 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

OH Beverly, thank you so much..Your encouragement and kind words mean the world to me..I think you know of what I speak. You also have a daughter and a son, both of which, find their way into your heart in different ways but pulling the same at our heart strings.. Our children and grandchildren are gifts from above to be loved and enjoyed, just as friendships are...thank you for your words and your friendship.

October 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

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