It seems like only yesterday, but it was 25 years ago today the most precious little girl came into my life. Ten fingers, ten toes and a head full of curly brown hair. At 7 lbs 15 ounces and 18 inches long, she was just perfect. Her dad and I named her Brittany Leigh.
Only 19 years old, and pretty much a child myself, I was so nervous about being a good mom… Wondering how often to feed her, what to do when she cries, and making sure I changed her diapers often enough was a little overwhelming at first. But thank goodness, with the help of my Mom (grandma), my mother-in-law (mom-mom), my husband, and my sisters, I quickly took on the role of motherhood like an old pro.
Soon my baby grew into a precocious toddler who was walking and talking at 11 months. She called herself Nee Nee, since Brittany was difficult for her to say, and the nickname stuck.
As a stay at home mom, Brittany and I did everything together. She loved to sing and dance with me around the living room. If I went to the mall or out to lunch she was with me. People used to comment about how smart she was, as we’d be sitting there having a conversation over lunch when she was a year or two old.
When she was two I decided it would be okay if she started watching Sesame Street. About a week later she was sitting on my lap and she started pointing to the letters in the words that were written across my T-Shirt, she was naming each letter as she pointed to it. I was amazed at how quickly she had learned the letters by sight – just from watching a TV show. So we started teaching her whole words and soon she was reading children’s books.
She wore glasses from the time she was two years old until just before going into high school, when we decided to get her an operation to fix the vision problems and correct her crossing eyes.
When Brittany was four years old, her younger brother Michael was born and she was so helpful – getting me diapers when I needed them or holding the baby while I got dressed. She was like a little mother herself.
Brittany was such a well rounded girl; she played flute and piccolo in the school band (grammar school through high school) and was a Cheerleader, Diver and a sharp student. She was accepted into the University of California, Davis and went directly from high school to college life without missing a beat.
My baby girl has blossomed into the most beautiful young woman. Now a graduate of UC Davis with a Bio-Chemical Engineering degree, she has great job, her own place and a brand new car. She has a wonderful boyfriend who treats her with the love and respect she deserves; supports her when she is having a bad day; and takes care of her when she is sick.
Being only 19 when she was born, Brittany and I really grew up together. After her father and I divorced (I was 26) and I was a single mom on my own for the first time, Brittany really stepped up and helped with things around the house and looking after her younger brother when I had to go to work. So it makes sense that one of Brittany’s and my favorite shows was The Gilmore Girls. I know it’s because it’s like watching ourselves during the years that I was single and she was a teenager and college student. Sometimes we still get out the DVD’s, eat some junk food and laugh about some of the good times and challenges we’ve had that were just like the characters in the show.
I am so proud of my daughter and all she has accomplished, but, as I was saying this morning on the phone when she and I talked, her best years are still ahead. She has so many things to look forward to: getting married, having children of her own and living her life to the fullest. I’ll be there cheering her on every step of the way.
I love you Nee Nee – Happy 25th Birthday!