Today Elecktra, aka "mini me" turns 21. I remember the day she was born. The night before I was working (I worked at Denny's at the time, as a 3rd shift waitress) and I waited on 127 customers in an hour. By myself. Everyone else had called out. Perhaps the stress of that and the stress of my life at the time may have led to her premature birth. Elecktra arrived 7 weeks early. The day before Mother's Day.
She spent 2 weeks in the NICU. I had to do a surgical scrub and gown up to go and see her. I only went home when they made me go home. The nurses had clever arguments like "you need to eat." Who needs to eat when you have a teeny tiny baby that needs to not be left alone?
Elecktra has been funny since she was born. Here she is staring down my brother, John, as he was playing guitar while we were visiting one day. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of her.
She is also very tough. She and Ethan played a lot of paintball for years. She has dived behind and into things, been hit by a ton of paintballs and was once accidentally bitten on the hand by her friends dog (which was barking and jumping and she went to push him down and he "barked" her hand). She is also very protective of Travis. I can barely remember a time when there was any sibling rivalry. Elecktra and Travis almost always got along. It was definitely nice, though weird too.
Growing up she was not always smiling, but she was often smiling. I loved watching her grow because the older she got, the more fun she was to be around. She would get very into all sorts of new things. I wish I had pictures of her doing woodworking projects with Ethan. Somewhere I have photos of them on the motorcycle together and him teaching her to ride a bike.
Elecktra loved Abby and helping with Abby.
And she always loved our adventures. Ethan worked on weekends for years. Being a tattoo artist sort of necessitated that. So the kids and I would go out in the world and do things. We went out in my boat...Spent tons of time at Old Sturbridge Village and Yankee Candle...
and Elecktra even volunteered at therapeutic riding while Travis was taking lessons.
And one year she got to take some lessons of her own. I don't think she and I have ever actually been riding together. Which is not that surprising. I have not gotten to go riding for almost 10 years! I really need to change that. And maybe soon.
She and my niece, Gabby, (who also looks a lot like me, lol) have also been good friends basically since birth. Elecktra is just an easy person to be around.
She was one of my bridesmaids when Ethan and I got married. I think she cried even more than I did. But that girl has some of the biggest tears I have ever seen. When she had to get shots I used to tease her that she was going to drown us with her giant tears. She'd laugh at me and then cry some more giant tears. The day she got barked she needed stitches. She was pretty brave about the whole thing but when she heard she needed stitches she did cry a bit. I don't blame her. Apparently the novacaine had not spread all the way out and she got stitched in one spot without any pain killers. Ouch!
It has always meant so much to me that Elecktra wanted to spend so much time with Travis. While most everyone agrees he is awesome, it does take some extra effort to interact with him at times. Though Elecktra is a master at this.
She really is amazing. She got me into Doctor Who. I don't think I had ever even heard of it and one day she was going on and on about it so I looked it up and watched an episode and then another and another... and I was hooked. And it gave us something else in common and more to talk about.
I'm not sure but the corn maze and the firefighter dog may have been in the same weekend. It was a long time ago though so I don't really remember. It has been a long time since Elecktra was taller than Travis.
The day she got her permit I immediately drove her to an empty parking lot at the mall. I told her she was going to drive. It didn't matter that there was slush all over, we live in New England, get used to it! And I was not going to give her time to think about when to have the first lesson. She was super scared but I think excited. And that bit of fear was nothing to the fear I saw on her face the day Ethan was giving her a driving lesson in his truck and had her out driving on the roads. She looked like she was going to puke! But she was doing it.Sometimes over the years I would look at Elecktra and just be amazed. I made that. And it's cool! I really am blessed with two very amazing kids.
Elecktra also can be thrifty, which is an excellent skill to have. For her junior prom she was going to wear the silver dress she wore for years for piano recitals. But sadly, it didn't fit anymore. So we went shopping and went all over 3 towns and two malls and couldn't find any fancy dresses. So eventually we went to Savers (thrift store). We found a silver dress very similar in material to the dress she had wanted to wear but it was backless and the strings were missing. I said that it was lucky she had a mom who could sew and we bought the silver dress (for $10!) and I used the old dress to make her a modesty panel and new laces for the back of the dress. She absolutely loved it. For her senior prom I happened to see this dress at an indoor flea market, brand new with the tags (also $10) and I bought it thinking it looked to be her size and she might like it. Well my thrifty girl said she was wearing that to the senior prom and it was perfect because the theme was Hollywood (or something like that). I imagine soon(ish) there might be wedding plans for these two. I think they are close to 6 years together now. I think she wants to wear my wedding dress. She has already worn my wedding shoes more than I have!
The day Elecktra graduated from high school I cried a lot of very proud mama happy tears. How did that tiny baby grown into this amazing...
grown up woman?
As with any parent/child relationship, it has not always been easy. I had Elecktra when I was barely 19. Life is hard when you are a parent that young. Being a parent is hard in general, but being really young does add some extra challenges. But she has been a great kid and I am very glad she is mine. And I am glad that we are friends. Happy 21st Birthday Elecktra!