You are my ass-kicking sunshine.

baby cai
Cai age 3 months. Laura age 23.

This post has been running through my mind for the past week.  My thoughts woke me at 1:30 am on my daughter’s 23rd birthday.  There are so many things I want to write, so many qualities and characteristics that I admire, so many stories to tell.

23 years ago today, I woke up at 6am, and felt a few small contractions.  I didn’t think much of it, so I cleaned up the house, took a shower, and told Jake that I might want to go to the doctor, just to be sure I wasn’t in labor.  Jake, however, wanted to goto work, and didn’t think I was in enough discomfort to be in labor, and kind of brushed it off.  It didn’t take much convincing to get him to take me to the hospital, where my doctor took one look at me and told me to sit and wait, that I wasn’t having a baby anytime soon, but he would check me in a few minutes since I was already there.

WELL, when I was examined, I was dilated to 5 centimeters, and immediately admitted.  I got an epidural shortly thereafter, and delivered around noon.  I vaguely remember getting ticked at Jake for watching the Price is Right while I was in labor.

Baby Cai decided to poo before she was born, so there was a respiratory team in the delivery room in order to suction her mouth and throat before she took her first breath as to prevent her from aspirating any of the meconium, (which an lead to pneumonia).  Because of this situation, it was about a minute or two after birth before she was able to utter her first cry, but it seemed more like an hour.  I have never been happier to hear anyone yell so loudly.  Cai also had to spend the first 24 hours or so of life in an incubator due to the conditions of her birth.  She was whisked away so quickly, my first real look at her was through the window of the hospital nursery, and I mistakenly thought this REALLY HAIRY Latin baby was her.  I was somewhat relieved to find out that MY baby was only moderately hairy, and not Latin.

Cai weighed in at 8 lbs 6 ounces, which was quite petite compared to her older brother, and the delivery and recovery for mom was relatively easy.  Upon returning home, I remember being impressed to write in her baby book that she would be a ray of sunshine to those around her, and 23 years have proven those impressions to be somewhat prophetic.  Cai is incredibly blessed in so many ways.  She is whip-smart, hilarious, musically gifted, physically beautiful and strong, artistic, charismatic, and kind.  But her overarching gift, in her mother’s incredibly unbiased opinion, is her ability to bring sunshine to a world which is so fraught with storms.

During a BRIEF stint at a local PreK, Cai was often found in the time out chair for “punishing the boys”.  (Her words)  She informed us that, “two of the boys are really mean to Reed, and the teachers don’t do anything.”  Cai is a unique combination of incredible compassion and amazing ass-kicking capability.  While she doesn’t physically shove offending bullies anymore, (that I’m aware of) she continually fights to make the world a better place.  Want proof?  See here.  Cai isn’t a woman who just bitches about problems, although that may happen on occasion, she actually marches, votes, volunteers, writes, and works to solve said problems.

Happy birthday to a daughter that I not only love, but that I respect and admire.  May life always find you shoving bullies.

Love you more than tunkintell,

Mom (Big Laura)

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