Twenty-two years ago today, our little girl was born, gorgeous with a little jaundice. A wondrous baby, smiley, giggly, huggy, and ticklish. Except during the three hours immediately after I got home from work, during which she had hall-of-fame colic. I’m sure the neighbors are still talking about it. I’m a pediatrician, and I should have known better, but I was convinced she hated me – shrieking her little lungs out every night, just as I walked in the door. I rocked her, paced the house with her face down over one of my arms just like it says in the book, sang the la-la lullaby. But every night she cried pretty much nonstop until bedtime. And the next day, with mommy, she was an angel. Until I got home again.

Eventually, of course, the colic passed, and adorableness took over, even during daddy hours. She grew into a toddler with panache and pizzazz. Whether in her PJ oneseys, ballet tutu, soccer cleats, or shiny mary janes, she had “it.” Bangs, braids, or barrettes, she wore them all with flare.  Everybody noticed when she entered the room. Not because she was loud, although she wasn’t really quiet, either. But because she sparkled, and people notice sparkle.

Although shy about new adventures, she was queen of the familiar. In pre-school and Gymboree, at Barbie play dates and on camper trips, she was sovereign. Not because she was bossy, although she wasn’t really meek, either. But because she had presence, her eyes twinkled, and her laugh was contagious. And those are royal qualities.

Our little girl turns 22 today. That went really fast. Now a college senior, she embraces new adventures. She is a devoted sister right in the middle of two identical brothers. Still gorgeous, with panache and pizzazz. Everybody notices when she enters the room, now to discuss her thesis, lead a meeting, or take the court. Still sparkling and twinkling, with presence and the same contagious laugh.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. From Mom and Dad. We are so proud of the fine young woman you have become, and so thrilled that we were able to be there to watch it happen every step of the way.

We love you very, very much.

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