Note: Collection #38, Amanda I & II, would be worth looking at. It has an introduction by Amanda that is much better than mine and would be good to look at before this one, or after, it’s your choice.
Happy 30th Birthday Babe.
I asked L.A. [her mom] to write this intro, she said, “No, I hold her head when she throws up, you take care of the recording of her life. We each serve different functions.”
Which is quite true. L.A. did all the heavy lifting. I was away a lot and when I came home you were my joy.
This was fun, to go back in time and see you way back when. You were noisy back then even as you are now. Of course now you make a lot more sense with your noise. From the moment you were born I fell in love with you. I don’t know if I was a good parent but I know I was a loving one.
Although you have an astonishing memory, you will find pictures here you will not remember because you were so busy being born.
Note: These images are only semi-chronological for reasons I’d rather not discuss.
You were a delight from the git-go. Your search for sustenance led you unerringly and constantly to L.A.’s breasts (even to other women’s).
You were so verbal so early. When L.A. said to you after years of breastfeeding, “None of your friends are still nursing,” your immediate reply was, “That’s their problem, not mine.”
I have zero memory of you crawling. As soon as you stood up you just started walking. Seems to me you were just finding out about the world around you. You were so damned curious, so investigative, so daring in so many ways. You got “lost” in stores, in the streets, and even in the Bank. I explain this as the decision to explore that motivated you, plus the bad sense of direction that my side of the family all had.
Once I heard you at a very early age bemoaning the fact that you had no friends. L.A. and I were worried so much about that. When I think of you now with all your friends, so many I can’t even keep track of, I feel pride about how far you’ve come, for I know you have so much to offer: so much care, compassion, and a healthy dose of wonderful eccentricity, not to mention your acerbic sense of humor. (Every time one says “not to mention…” you ever notice that they always mention it?)
I love what you have become. I loved you at all your ages, all your “stages.” I’ve taken pleasure in your company at all times (except for last Tuesday).
I worried a lot about “bending the twig” in the wrong way, and even so, I tried to get you to understand that your teachers were not ipso facto always right and that you should always question authority.
I’ve paid for that.
I guess I didn’t do so badly, but I have to say that L.A. did most of the work on forming you, and as a result I haven’t won an argument with either of you, ever.
I wish I had the words and the ability to explain to you how much I love you and how very, very proud I am of you and what you are doing with your life. But I’ll just say to you what’s in my heart:
I love you.