Friday, August 15, 2008

Then and Now

Sunday, August 17th is my firstborn, Carrin's 35th birthday. Where did the time go? I really can't say it seems like yesterday that I was just giving birth to her, because it doesn't but it sure doesn't seem like 35 years. Your firstborn born is always the one you practice on because you really have no idea what the hell you're doing with a baby when you become a parent for the first time. They don't give instruction manuals with babies when they're born so if you don't break the kid and they manage to grow up OK , you figure you're doing something right. Besides being a new parent, I was also a single parent so had 2 strikes against me. It's a wonder the poor kid made it past her 1st birthday! I have to admit because she was a little thing, I was a tad on the over protective side and didn't let her do a lot of things she probably could have when she could have. It all started when she was 2 years old and broke her wrist jumping on the bed at the neighbors house and didn't tell me til the next morning when she couldn't move it because she knew she wasn't supposed to be jumping on the bed and would get in trouble. Poor kid was in pain but wouldn't tell me cause she was afraid I would beat her! I tell you I was a mean Mommy! I was always afraid she would get hurt so I didn't want to do things like ride a big bike and sure enough, as soon as she started riding a big bike, she hit a hump in the sidewalk, crashed and in the emergency room we went and she ended up with stitches in her knee. (She still bears the scar from that to this day.) Then there was the time she dislocated her shoulder just before cheer leading tryouts but went to tryouts anyway because it was important that she make the squad and she did. The first time i let her walk to school by herself (and this is just a block and a half), I watched her until i couldn't see her anymore and then I must have stood there for an additional five minutes just to make sure nobody grabbed her. DUH!

Over the years she went through all the normal ups and downs of adolescence, became the older sibling to a brother and sister(whom she both loved and terrorized depending on what day of the week it was), discovered boys and did manage to graduate without causing us too much trouble. Shortly after that, she moved to Iowa where she became employed as a dealer on a riverboat casino. Now my first thought when I heard this was of those old movies where the women wore the skimpy dresses with garters and their boobs hanging out and there was nothing but booze and money all over the place and if somebody didn't like something they shot you. I wasn't sure I wanted my daughter working in a place like this. She soon cleared up that misconception and informed my it was a very respectable place to work where she could advance and make good wages. Which she did.
Carrin eventually married and had 3 beautiful children of her own that she gets to practice on. I am very proud of the woman she is today and all the things she has accomplished in her life. She has long since moved on from dealing at the casino and is now working for a firm that invests union pensions.(She's still working with money but in a different way). She's had some hard knocks the past couple years but she hasn't let them beat her down. She's used them to make her a stronger woman. I'd like to think she learned that from me but in all honesty, it comes from my mother and her mother and probably her mother before her. It's a Schuler woman trait and one we should all be proud of. Happy Birthday Baby Girl, You turned out OK even if I didn't know what I was doing half the time. Love Mom

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