17 Years Ago Today

Seventeen years ago today
I was sitting in my car
I’d just finished pumping gas
When I received an urgent call

“Stop everything you’re doing!
Come be with me at once!
Your Goddaughter’s coming early!
She’s already pulling stunts!”

I had with me my boyfriend
He’d never met your mom,
So here was my dilemma,
Do I see you born or drive him home?

Unfortunately for him,
To the hospital I fled
Rounding circle’s in the Avenues
Until I found your mom’s hospital bed!

Oh, was she embarrassed!
To meet my beau this way
But given the alternative,
She wouldn’t have had it any other way.

It didn’t really matter
Because I found her in a state
Surrounded by your grandparents
Scolding me for being late.

She wasn’t quite herself
The drugs had already kicked in
Your father—he looked stricken
—A new life to begin.

As he donned on his hospital gown
We wished your mom good luck
And giggled about how’d you’d run
This perfect day amok.

When they wheeled your mom away
I’ll admit that I was scared
A life without your mother
Would be too much to bear

But I need not to have worried
The doctors kept her safe
I wish you could have seen the single tear
Stream down your father’s face

When he held you up so proudly
For all of us to see
His tiny baby girl
How gently he held thee.

Now you’ve grown into a woman
A baby girl no more,
My heart both cries with sorrow
And wishes you to soar.

From the day that you were born
You’ve lived at your own pace
Insisting on being early—
Always staying ahead of the race.

So today, dear baby girl
I beg you to slow down
And take the time to enjoy
Your last year as a child

Take time to watch the sunrise
With sister at your side
Take time to take walks
With your brother—be his guide.

And every chance you get
Spend time with mom and dad
For once you start your life
You’ll wish for more time with them to have had.

And remember baby girl
As you look upon this day
That life is what you make of it—
It’s how you choose to pave your way.

Please keep that soul of kindness
Please keep that humble heart
Please keep that self-discipline—
It’ll give you your head start.

Please keep that optimism
That always sees you through
And keep strumming your guitar
On days that feel somewhat blue.

Please seek out some adventures
Live life not in fear
Take chances when you get them
And try a little beer. 😉

Don’t be afraid to call me
When you make a few mistakes
I’ve made a few myself
And promise to give you breaks.

For you I’ll always be there
Regardless of “the crime”
That my dear is something
On which you can rely

But mostly please remember
As you enter this new stage
That I will always love you
No matter what your age.

I’ll never forget the flurry
Of that beautiful September day
When I met you as a baby girl
Seventeen years ago today.

Happy Birthday Nikki!
9.17.2015

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