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A letter for a special birthday girl

By By Leada Gore, Editor
I hope you will excuse me if this column is a bit personal. Someone recently accused me of being too familiar and I must say there are times I agree.
This isn’t one of those, however.
This is a letter written to my daughter, who celebrated her first birthday this week. I hope one day, maybe when she has children of her own, she will read this and smile.
Sutton,
I hope you’ve enjoyed your first year on this planet as much as your dad and I have enjoyed you. I must say we were a bit unprepared for the changes you would bring, however.
We were somewhat prepared for the lack of sleep that accompanied you, if someone can prepare for exhaustion. And we did fine all throughout those baby months, those calm, quiet times when we just sat and stared at you.
We weren’t prepared, however, for the first time we put you in your walker and you shot off like a lightning bolt. You turned a large plant over when you were seven months old. When you learned to stand, you destroyed everything that had been on the coffee table. By the time you learned to walk, we tried to baby-proof all we could, to mixed results. My heart stopped the day I found you four steps up the staircase and then again, after we put up a gate, when you decided to climb up the outside of the staircase.
Your dad has had the biggest adjustment. He’s just not used to girls. He marvels at your abililty to squeal and asks if you will do that the rest of your life. I told him you would, it’s just what little girls do. He was amazed the first time he saw you pick up your little purse and throw it over your shoulder. If you play your cards right, I bet he will buy you a couple more purses as we go along.
As for me, I’m constantly amazed. I wonder where you learned some of the things you have, such as when you picked up a hairbrush and started brushing your hair or the time you dropped something and said “uh oh” loudly. It seems you change everyday and pick up some new mannerism or action.
You had a nice party for your first birthday, with your grandparents and cousins all joining in the fun. You stuck your hand in your small cake but didn’t make too much of a mess, something that amazed us all given your nickname, “Hurricane Sutton.”
Sutton, I look forward to all the experiences ahead and can’t wait to see what you will become. If this first year is any indication, you’re bound to grow into someone spectacular. But for now, your dad and I are thoroughly enjoying who you are and we want you to know how much you are loved.

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