Meet Bud.  Bud the Banana.  You know how your kids give you things when they're little and they become part of your daily landscape?  Well, Bud has been part of every drive I have taken since Em introduced him to me when she was in 8th grade (about 10 years ago).  If I remember correctly (and that is a BIG assumption on my part), Em won him at an amusement park on an 8th grade field trip.  Bud has faded somewhat over the years but is still good company.  He hangs from the fan switch and watches me drive. 

I've always wondered why someone thought a stuffed banana was a good idea but I like having him around.  When I was in college, my brother (who is 10 years younger and therefore was 8 or 9) gave me a little Lego spaceman to put on the dashboard to keep me company while I drove back and forth to school.  I loved Spaceman but lost track of him long ago.  I don't know why people seem to think I need company in the car.....

I don't usually talk about things that happened in my childhood.  I'm not sure why it came out on Saturday.  My mother wasn't married when I was born (not so common in 1957!) and lived with her mother.  She married my sister's father who wanted her to put both my sister and I in an orphanage and come to live in Florida with him.  She said no, and worked hard to keep us together which included working 3 jobs and leaving us with a babysitter much of the time.  She and my dad married when I was 7 and my brother was born 3 years later.  There were no "steps" in our family.  My dad legally adopted my sister and I in 1972 after I asked him to.  I think I asked him this after a friend said her father had adopted her legally and I thought it would make me feel more secure in our family. 

My dad was a tough one.  He had rules and his pronouncements were gospel.  If he said the sky was purple, then the sky was purple (even if it wasn't).  We learned to keep quiet and follow rules. 

My girls wouldn't have lasted long in that family.  I wanted to create a family where it was ok, even encouraged to ask questions and disagree.  Did this make it difficult?  You betcha.  But I have three independent thinking individuals for children.  They questioned everything and still do.  It's so cool.

Today is Elanor's 27th birthday.(those are her Birthday Socks)  I remember the day she was born so well.  Labor lasted 14 hours and she was born weighing 8 pounds 9 ounces.  A big baby with a big smile.  She liked to be naked and Pk could tell what kind of day we'd had by the amount of clothing she was wearing when he got home.  Just a diaper meant there had been trouble. 

El has always marched to the beat of her own drummer.  She is stubborn as the day is long (which she comes by naturally from both sides of her family) and will stick to her guns long after it would have been prudent to let go.  Funny El story:  When she was in 1st grade, the PE teacher wanted her to skip in gym class.  El refused.  The teacher sent her to the principal's office.  El skipped all the way down the hall to the office.  You can see why we were frustrated.  Her fourth grade teacher told me "I can't teach her.  She always knows the answers".  I was teaching special ed at the time and knew how hard some kids can be.  The teacher didn't like being challenged and El was nothing if not challenging (she would keep a "fun" book hidden in her math/science/history/spelling book and read when she was supposed to be working.  The teacher couldn't catch her because when he asked her to tell him an answer, she had it ready). 

She looks just like her father.  They have the same smile and wry sense of humor.  And the same temper.  It's a good thing there is a deep well of love underneath.  They both have the same big heart and cannot stand to see injustice.  They'll fight for the underdog everytime. 

She is my darling girl, my firstborn child and I love her dearly.  Happiest of Happy Birthdays Elanor! 

"Sail on Silver Girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way"

(P. Simon)


Roxie said…
happy, happy day for EL!
drkknits said…
oh happy birthday elanor. what great stories your mum tells, i think i would like you very much! as for you DL, your story about your dad made ma laugh out loud 9although i know it is not the least bit funny) - my mum used to say 'if i say the wall is pink the wall is pink'. i always managed to sneak in 'but its white' under my breath. last word and all...
Galad said…
Happy Birthday El!
Kaye said…
Happy Birthday El!

I think Dr. MS would kill for a student like that! LOL!
Bells said…
Bud is cute! I love how he was just kind of an intro to the rest of the story.

Wondeful memories, wonderful descriptions of people you love. I feel like I know your family in an odd way, just a little bit better.
Louiz said…
Happy Birthday to El.
amy said…
And I am reading this on MY birthday. I think Virgos are the best. :-)

My father used to say, "When I say jump, you say 'how high?'" Ugh.
Rose Red said…
Happy birthday El!

Thanks for sharing more of your story, Donna Lee.
Olivia said…
I like the way your share your family and your life but leave things private as well. It's a fine balance isn't it? I hope El had a wonderful birthday.
KnitTech said…
Happy birthday El!!
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