To My Baby Daughter, Caitlyn, On Her Birthday

Today is my youngest child’s 21st birthday. Caitlyn is in the United States Air Force serving in Japan, so I’m missing one of her

Caitlyn — My precious baby daughter

milestones, and it bums me out to no end. But, thank God we have the kind of technology that allows me to converse with her without waiting weeks and weeks for snail mail.

I have often said that being a mother was my favorite job ever. All three of my kids are very different, presenting with strengths and weaknesses that I dealt with in each individually. But hands down, Caitlyn was just the easiest kid ever. Even her birthday is the easiest ever to remember — July 1.

From the minute she was born, it was clear that Caitie was no whiner. In fact, as I lied in pose on the delivery table, waiting to hear her cry, she had to be smacked on the butt twice before she let out a newborn wail, and it was over within seconds. Evidently, she was in agreement that her time had come. No wanting back in the womb for that kid. The world presented her with opportunities, and she wanted to seize every one of them.

When I got her home, she had two toddler siblings that required a lot of Mom‘s attention to compete with, yet she was always patient. She slept 6 hours in a row at night from day one. Of course, this was unnerving for me, so instead of capitalizing on the sleep time, I spent time hovering around her making sure she was breathing.

My eldest child was moody and stubborn, having to actually be taught how to have a sense of humor, and my second child skipped crawling altogether and launched into walking and then escaping from home in the wee hours of the morning, but Caitie completed every milestone a baby is supposed to accomplish normally and without causing my eyes to bleed. She learned to crawl and then walk by nine months, spoke words on time, and was so laid back I could literally take her anywhere with me without worry. She was, and is, a huge blessing to her tired mom.

Of all my kids, Caitie has been the one that has the most characteristics I recognize in myself. She has a hard time giving up; she is passionate about succeeding at whatever she sets her hand to do; she likes people in general; she strives to protect the weak, and isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right, even if she is the only one standing. She even has the angry streak that I’ve worked hard to control in myself all these years, and already, she maintains self-control better than I do.

What Caitie possesses, though, that I don’t is a comfortable acceptance of herself. She likes who she is, and feels no need to explain

why. I’ve not met anyone yet who doesn’t instantly fall in love with this girl, and that list includes me. The minute I looked into the eyes of that baby with the old soul, I was hooked forever.

I have a lot of funny stories about Bekkie and Dj, but not so many about Caitie. It isn’t because she was not fun or wasn’t silly, or that I wasn’t paying attention. And she makes me laugh until I pee myself on a regular basis.  It is because she was always smart about most of her decisions. She didn’t get roped into a lot of stupid stuff, and was not in the least influenced by peer pressure, whether at school or at home. She approached Bekkie and Dj’s teen angst with the same practical nature I did. She had no use for it. But don’t be fooled. She is gifted at bringing laughter into a room, and to be loved by Caitie is to be loved by the best this world has to offer.

Dearest Caitlyn,

I miss you so very much, my heart feels like it will break if I don’t hug and kiss that little face soon. It has been a hard year for your dad and me, but one thing that has never waivered…we both love you with all of our hearts. I think God had you safely tucked away in Japan while we went through this because your heart would have been in as much danger as mine had you been here to witness the attacks satan has launched. You are a fixer, like me, and it would have been torture for you to stay out of it.

But, like you, I’m a tough nut to crack, and all of this will sort itself out in the end. I already see some cracks of sunlight in the situation. Please focus on getting physically healthy. I honestly think that you have anemia like me, but I am glad they are being extensive about diagnosing what is going on with your blood. In the meantime, be sure to eat healthy and take the vitamins they prescribe. And don’t drink a lot. Booze zaps your body of vitamins and makes you blog stupid stuff.   🙂

I am so blessed God gave you to me!!!

I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and at least we are only a few short months off from you coming home to see your family.




32 responses to “To My Baby Daughter, Caitlyn, On Her Birthday”

  1. Was that first picture taken in Japan? That is absolutely beautiful scenery. Also Happy Birthday Caitlyn. I don’t know you but I am going to wish you happy birthday anyways.


  2. I’m in awe by reading this. I know I would have been proud to call you my mother – but since that’s impossible due to obvious age reasons, I’ll settle for being proud for having you as my sister and my kindred spirit. Happy birthday to your little one (not so little anymore).


    • It was my honor to be her mom. I miss her so very much today, it is hard not to cry! I’m proud to be your sister and kindred spirit, Sara. Thank you for your super sweet compliment.


      • Has she been home at all since her deployment? I’m a little brain dead right now, so I apologize if you have told me and I don’t remember. I think all my brain cells went on vacation.


  3. Happy Birthday to Caitie! I cried as I read. Then I recognized a lot of the characteristics you wrote about Caitie were characteristics I see in my baby girl, Claire. You made me feel as if I know Caitie well. What a gift for words! Love to you — Sandy


  4. god has blessed you with wonderful children! and to have one take after yourself, is this good or bad?? lololol anyways, tell your daughter we all wish her a happy birthday from Indiana!


  5. Happy Birthday, Caitlyn. To Bird, one of the most touching posts I’ve ever read You made an old man misty-eyed…Check out my prayer page, Bird. I think you’ll like it.


  6. Happy birthday to your daughter! She really has much luck to have a mother who loves her that much!


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