My daughter turns 24 today. Kaitlin Elizabeth Dunnevant. I’ve always liked the way her name rolled off the tongue. Lots of letters and syllables coming together to make a pretty sound. On her birthday I will take a minute to make a partial list of the many things that come together to make her so wonderful.
* She is the lump in my throat every time I watch Father of the Bride.
* She is the unexpected catch in my voice whenever I brag about her at work.
* In a life of mistakes she is evidence that I got something right.
* She is the smile on my face every time I see a blonde curly-haired two year old in a yellow dress.
* She was the pit in my stomach whenever teenage boys with bad intentions came around, and they all had bad intentions.
* When her softball team lost a thrilling game in the bottom of the last inning she was the only one with tears coming down her cheeks. She may be the most competitive Dunnevant of them all. It’s a glorious thing.
* On the five minute drive to school in second grade I could always make her smile at least once no matter how miserable she was and no matter how hard she tried not to.
* I marvel at the level of discipline she has developed.
* She is the pride I feel when I see her curled up on the sofa reading yet another book. My gift to her.
* When I see her fierce loyalty to friends, her tender heart to the less fortunate, her love and devotion to all things family I realize how amazing my grandchildren will be to behold.
* She is the shame I feel still that I spent the first 24 hours of her life disappointed that she wasn’t a son.
So on this day, may my daughter with the crooked smile, the curly hair, the brilliant mind, stunning beauty and doting father have an awesome day. And tonight at Outback you can have something besides water!