We often think of Valentine’s Day as a time to give our loved ones a sweet card, their favorite chocolates or maybe even a teddy bear. This year, I am dedicating Valentine’s Day to the “loves of my life” – my daughters, Christine and Caitlin.
Meet Christine. From day one, she came into this world feisty, fun and full of energy. She has – and is – always vivacious and the life of the party! Very social, yet caring, compassionate and devoted to those around her.
From the time she was little, she couldn’t sit still and her first grade teacher actually duct-taped her to her chair, along with her best friend, Brittany! As a youngster, she excelled as a “Pop Warner” Cheerleader and at dance, especially “tap”, and she was an excellent soccer player. Christine was very gifted at being social. We had “sleepovers” all the time, and we had lots of day trips to parks, outdoor activities, Chuck E’ Cheese, the Jacksonville Fair, carnivals, movies and other events.
Then we were “challenged” as adolescence began, and those oh-so- wonderful-teenager years. I would get calls from her high school for her “cutting” classes or getting detention. One time, as a teenager, she and her friends were drunk at a party. Christine wanted me to sneak one of her best friends, who was so drunk she couldn’t even sit up, back into our house…. No, don’t worry – I chose to call the young girl’s family instead… it wasn’t pretty. Christine was “adventurous” which led to many misadventures as well. In those days, Christine had to have the last word in anything and challenged family and authority just about every step of the way. Thankfully, we all survived those teenage years!
The bumpy teenage years behind us, Christine has grown into a wonderful young adult. We are so close now, and she continuously always amuses me; no one makes me laugh like her. Christine is beautiful and smart, a wonderful writer and storyteller, she is great to be around, and she has a very funny and entertaining personality. Christine is sincere, honest, hard-working and loves her husband and family.
Christine went on to complete college and earned her degree in Public Relations/ Communications. Shortly after completing college, she went over to Costa Rica for an “adventure” where she met her husband, William, whom we adore and now consider our son.
Say hello to “Caitlin”. She is our “baby”, and I still refer her to as “Baby Caitlin” although she is now 22 years old. Caitlin was our “easy” one – ha ha – but with that she was sometimes left out or “missed” because she wasn’t kicking and screaming all the time to get her own way! I recall one time as a busy “working mom” scrambling to get a 5 year old rambunctious Christine and a baby Caitlin (in a car seat) out the door. I got lunches packed, everyone dressed, fed; and I started to walk out the door WITHOUT Caitlin!!!! Don’t worry – It dawned on me that I was missing “something”, and I thankfully remembered her. There she was – buckled in her car seat, calmly sitting on the living room floor!
Caitlin was easygoing, could play well by herself, was easily entertained, and we could take her anywhere. Caitlin did her own thing. She liked spending her free time her own way. Unlike her sister, Caitlin did not like “organized” sports or activities – which was fine – I just had to learn to understand that. I remember when she was 6 years old, and I was reluctantly chosen as the coach of her soccer team. (I didn’t know much of anything about soccer at the time). Caitlin said in one game, “But, Mom, I DON’T WANT TO RUN.” I thought, “what do you mean, you don’t want to run – that’s what you do in soccer. .. YOU RUN!!!!!” Hence, Caitlin was perfectly satisfied sitting on the sidelines drinking her juice and eating her snack.
Caitlin was a “book nerd”. My mother (“Grandma”) would pay her a dollar for every book she would read – and she learned to LOVE to read. Caitlin was naturally bright. We sailed through high school pretty well, and Caitlin is in college now and works part-time. She is very involved with keeping fit, nutrition, eating right and working out. Caitlin is hardworking, gets along easily with all kinds of people and is dependable.
Caitlin, like her sister, is very amusing and loves her family. She can “imitate” all of our family members and various friends in a very entertaining way. I can still “take” her anywhere and Caitlin is still very easygoing and sweet; she is always thinking of others and is very caring. Caitlin has a “wisdom” well beyond her stated years. (I call her my “Sunny Bunny”, but now that she is 22 years old, she DOES NOT want me to call her that anymore!)
I so enjoy my time with my daughters – both separately and together – now that they are young adults. They are my best friends and the joy of my life. I am so proud of them and the truly wonderful young adults they have become. They have important qualities of sincerity, caring, honesty and thoughtfulness. I hope and pray that they will do the best they can with what they have, and I pray they will be everything that God wants them to be.
There is a special bond between mothers and daughters that is not easily described. There is no greater love than a mother’s love for her children except God’s love for us. I often get so busy in the hustle and bustle of the day that I sometimes forget just how important Christine and Caitlin are to me – they are my world. And I just don’t want to realize that on Valentine’s Day or special holidays – I want to be reminded of this daily!
So you will have to excuse me … I have a date with my daughters. I am looking forward to hugging them and celebrating the beautiful young women they have become!
Until next time,