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Tony and I are soaking up all the sights, sounds and pasta we can in our last few hours in NYC so my sweet sweet parents Laur and Murr are taking over the blog today in lieu of the usual Friday gratitude list. (Consider this my gratitude list: THANK YOU, MOM + DAD, FOR WRITING THIS BLOG!!) Having just turned 30 yesterday, I have a newfound respect for them, my mom especially – when she turned 30, she was less than 3 months away from giving birth to me and had to take it sober. (I, on the other hand, drank champagne pretty much all day long.) Her life was in such a different place than mine when she hit this milestone, which is crazy to think about because she and I are alike in so many ways. Here she and my dad are with their thoughts on their baby turning 30 – my mom is the “first voice” and my dad is the “second voice”:

Our Daughter is Turning 30

A Tragicomedy in One Act (At Least In Her Mind…..)

On Our Daughter Turning 30

First voice: 

This seems like an appropriate quote for Annie’s birthday:

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”

― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

Second voice:

Or, “Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man,” which I think is attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola.

First voice:

Let’s examine Annie as a little girl to see if that holds true in her case.  Let’s try to recall almost 30 years ago, okay?

Second voice:

I’m trying, but, there’s quite a bit of brain fuzz.  Let’s have a glass of wine to help the time travel? (Sound of pouring)

First voice:

Okay.  (Glug, glug, glug.)  Let’s go back farther than age seven and hone in on three-year-old Annie.  Remember when I took her to our Mr. Rogers-like pediatrician, and at the very end of the appointment he asked her if she had any more questions.  She cocked her head to indicate me, and asked in a hushed voice, “What do you do if you think someone is poisoning your food?”

Second voice:

Early signs of Munchausen’s?

First voice:

Perhaps, but, it was probably just my cooking.  Thank goodness she had already impressed the doctor by saying her favorite color was “fuchsia” and her dogs were “rambunctious.”  I was both extremely proud and even more extremely horrified at the same time.

Second voice:

Was that her year of wearing only a Snow White dress, or only her Dorothy dress and calling her best friend Toto?

First voice:

That was the Dorothy year.

On Our Daughter Turning 30

{Annie with her dear friend Ali who became her bridesmaid, and she hers, this year}

Take a look at her drawing and what she said about it,

On Our Daughter Turning 30

“Dorothy doing a show.  She’s going da-da-da, da-dee-da!  My name is Dorothy!”

She was quite the entertainer. She had her first tap recital at that age–Teddy Bears’ Picnic–that involved the repetition of three moves: swaying her teddy bear, skipping, and waving.

On Our Daughter Turning 30

As soon as that teddy bear rocked back and forth almost to the beat, we became unabashed stage parents.

Second voice:

Remember how their preschool had a chicken coop with a sign that read, “Be Kind to Chickens.”  Dorothy and Toto named each chicken after its dominant characteristic.

They really loved the one best that liked to peck, Pecker.

On Our Daughter Turning 30

{Posing in front of coop in a rare non-Dorothy outfit with her future maid-of-honor Jacquelyn and new baby brother Billy}

First voice:

Yep, she loved animals, all right.  Not to sound sacrilegious, but, remember how she used to call our dog, Freddie, Baby Jesus because she loved him so much? And, according to the journal I kept, she also called you Chowderhead and Picklehead.

On Our Daughter Turning 30

{Annie with “Baby J.”}

Her quote: “Freddie likes me and sometimes he likes Frisbees and I love my mama.” And she loved and was fearless around pretty much all creatures great and small.

On Our Daughter Turning 30

{I guess this was taken before helmets…..}

Second voice:

She composed her first poem at age 3, too:

The wind is rushin’

The treetops are singin’

Marshmallows are soft

They’re white and they waft

First voice:

We stayed at a hotel in Tahoe and she declared ‘that she wanted to move up here.’ Little did we know Tahoe would become her favorite place in the world and she would one day choose it as her wedding site.

Second voice:

(Chuckles) She was quite a charmer.  One night, when I was really cranky and she just kept singing and singing from her bedroom long after her bedtime, I finally yelled from downstairs, “That’s it!  GOOD NIGHT!”  She called down in her most honeyed voice, “Did you say, ‘GOOD MORNING’?!?”

First voice:

She loved to make us laugh, whether talking in funny voices, or putting her shoes on the wrong feet and walking around comically, declaring, “Oh, silly me!” or telling (dear, dear, dear patient) Freddie jokey anecdotes non-stop, about Freddie in a green bathing suit, or Freddie spilling a can of soda, or Freddie performing wild antics in Oz, or in heaven doing Baby J. sorts of things.

On Our Daughter Turning 30

Second voice:

And, she loved to feed people, even then, too.  She especially loved to help in the kitchen and one day she brought us [sweetly unprompted, we might gush] a breakfast-in-bed “feast” consisting of strawberries and crackers and water in Dixie cups.

On Our Daughter Turning 30

First voice:

She was always compassionate, too.  She and her Auntie C were watching 101 Dalmations one evening, and grownup Auntie C was distraught and sobbing after Nanny discovered the puppies were missing.  Annie consoled and patted her aunt, soothing over and over, “Don’t worry, please don’t worry, they’re not really gonna shave the puppies.”

Second voice:

Ah, yes, like every parent who has come before us, we certainly have lots of doting stories from our dotage…..

First voice:

Just one more little one—it’s relevant.  I remember right after my birthday, Annie asked, “Mommy, how old are you?” I answered, “34,” and added kiddingly, or so I thought…, “That’s pretty old, huh?” She nodded gravely and with a trembling voice with thespian flourish she added, “Are you going to die today?”

Second voice:

So, Annie, on your 30th birthday, although you’re starting to catch-up to your pretty old soul…this is what we have to tell you:

First voice:

People ask us in pitying and deeply somber tones ‘how does it make you feel having a daughter turning 30?’

Second voice:

They want us to answer “old” or “really old.” But, it doesn’t feel that way.   Maybe, someday, God willing, we’ll rejoice in feeling old together when we both get our senior discounts at the movies.  [What could be luckier?!?!]

First voice:

Truly, what we are feeling is JOY, JOY, JOY!!!!  We are delighting in the memories of your fun babyhood, childhood, and young adulthood.

Second voice:

And, we share this zen-like feeling that you are (ta-da!) an adult who’s found her calling (and you’re organized, disciplined, hard-working, and, as you can see from the above, distinctly talented enough to pull the whole thing off), you’re married to your perfect other, and you are buoyed by a tremendous support system of loving, extraordinary friends.  You give back to your community, you read voraciously, and you live life to the fullest.  We couldn’t be prouder of your spark and fire.

First voice:

AND you apply sunscreen religiously (good girl!), floss, drive carefully, and your only addictions seem to be beauty samples and stray dogs.  What’s not to celebrate?!?  Most importantly, we have no doubt you will be a blazingly amazing mother to two, or four, or more funny children.

Second voice:

You’re still, and always will be, that playful, verbal, animal-and-friend-loving little girl to us.  So remember, just like shoes worn on the wrong feet, age numerics are silly. Clomp around and make ‘em laugh.