It started on Mother’s Day 2001. I was in the kitchen, 900 months pregnant, cooking my own Mother’s Day dinner (salmon cakes. I was pregnant, remember?) watching out the window as Steve was trying to teach Mackenzie how to ride a bike. Every 2 minutes I felt like I had to pee which was a major inconvenience when you’re trying to cook dinner. Except every time I went, I didn’t have to go which was even MORE of an inconvenience. I started to wonder if it wasn’t pee but rather my water starting to do something. I put a call into the doc and a little bit later, got the call to head to the hospital.

Fact: I have driven myself to the hospital for every single one of the girl’s birth.

I won’t bore you with my labor story (it was the worst of the 3) but here we are, eleven years later and we’re celebrating the wonder in our family named Sydney Elizabeth. If you have had the pleasure to meet her, you’ll recognize what’s coming next. But for those who don’t, let me tell you about Sydney – or Syd as she’s more often called.

She’s our entertainer. I know all parents think their kids are funny, but Syd’s really funny. From the time she was upright, she’s had us in stitches. She likes to be the center of attention, but in a good way. She’s a natural ham and can do improv with the best of them. Need proof? Check out this (short) video of her at 3 doing air guitar to Scooby:


She’s messy little klutz. This kid could walk into a sterile room and somehow, someway, dirt would find her. I tell her to go wipe her face and she will cleanse the entire surface except for the big blob of chocolate that made me tell her to go wash in the first place. She’s the one who had the first broken arm at age 3, stitches the day before her first day of 1st grade and there’s not a corner in this house that she hasn’t railed into. I cringe each time she leaves the house and breathe a sigh of relief when she gets home.

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She’s smart. She’s the one that does her homework on the bus and effortlessly gets A’s and B’s. We try to tell her that if she just turned it up a notch, she’d be a straight A student but really… how do you argue with what she’s already doing. She’s an enthusiastic learner. I can’t tell you how many notes have been sent home from school telling us how great Sydney is but that she’s a bit of a chatterbox. In reality, we know what’s happening is that she’s SO excited that she knows the answers that she’s about to bounce out of her seat to be the first one to answer. Of course, she’s probably going to be the one who gets the snot popped out of her for reminding the teacher that they forgot to assign homework.

She loves to sleep. I have a collection of photos from when she was 3 and 4 of her sleeping. Nothing odd, I realize except the kid could fall asleep anywhere. Sitting up with her blankie over her head like a bird, in a diner in NYC with a grilled cheese sandwich in her hand, laid out over the coffee table. It didn’t matter where she was (or is), if Sydney’s tired, she’s going to go to sleep.

She’s considerate. Ever since she was a little if she had money to spend and we went to the store, not only was she buying something for herself – she was buying something for her sisters. And giving a lot of thought to what she thinks they’d like. This year for our anniversary, she ordered a customized chocolate bar for us after she saw one that I received as a thank you gift. Ordered and paid for with her own money.

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She’s a saver. I’m not sure where she got this trait from (my mom, I think) but this kid can pinch a penny like you wouldn’t believe. If she wants something big, she saves her money and looks for extra ways around the house to add to her collection. We sent her on vacation this year with $200 to spend. She came home with $150.

She’s passionate. This goes both ways… she’s a love bug who loves to give hugs and kisses and hold my hand. When I meet her at the bus, she comes running full speed to greet me. It’s the best part of my day – even if she knocks me flat on my tail. Just as passionately as she loves, she fights. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to but when she has a meltdown, it is of the 5-alarm, nuclear variety. There is no reasoning with her and I’ve found the only thing that will get it under control is to resort to holding and hugging her.

So, that’s my girl. Our middle daughter Sydney, who today is 11. I love you baby. Happy Birthday 🙂


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