A Birthday Note for Elizabeth

Today you, my youngest child, Elizabeth, turn 12. We spoke yesterday on the phone–you are in New Zealand having a wonderful time. You love the park with the cargo nets, the luge where you only wiped out once, and I suspect you loved the sky swing though you said it was really scary. You will have had lamb for birthday dinner; it wouldn’t be what I would make for you, on the other hand that isn’t what you would request for your birthday at home.

You don’t know this, being on the other side of the world, but the news is all about the Blagojevich verdict tonight. Blagovech, governor of this state when we moved here, caused quite a scandal and FBI action after the last presidential election. The trial occured. the jury deliberated for two weeks, but they only managed to come to agreement on one count. A retrial is expected on the other counts charged. You might wonder why I mention this tidbit of national news, this your birthday post after all, not a “Today in history” but really a birthday post really contains today in history.

The most important historical event to happen on this day: your birth. But, I should have known that this would be the day Blagojevich dominated the news. The day you were born was dominated by another huge court case: Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton. Yes, Bill Clinton, not Hillary. Bill Clinton, president at the time had some questionable actions with an intern Monica Lewinsky. Blue dresses from the Gap were used as evidence. While in labor with you–that dominated television coverage. My labor with you didn’t allow me to stray far but the tv with its few channels all Lewinsky and Clinton all the time didn’t appeal.

On the other hand, as I write this post, I wonder if these two events don’t fittingly encapsulate something precious about you. You seem a born politician. Not necessarily in a bad way (and I do hope you never are the center of a messy scandalous trial) but in the way you approach life. You go through life playing by your rules and making them everyone else’s rules as well. You negotiate with the best of them. You plan your strategies, you work your play book, and you get what you seek. I think this vexes us all when we end up on the wrong side, but at the same time, we admire that streak.

This ability allowed you to sail into sixth grade and the waters of middle school with enviable ease. No not everyone fell in love with you on the first day. Some people in middle school are mean. Some people just obviously have no brain to not recognize you for the amazing creature in their presence.

I suspect the same will hold true for you throughout your life. You have the August woman potential to charm when it suits you. You shrug off the rest–also an August thing I have heard. So yes, your 11th year was filled with first bras, braces and blogs–but today I have to say it was all about politics.


  1. What a lovely birthday post.

    I asked my almost 5-year-old if he was going to be a lawyer when he grows up. Quite the argumentative one, that boy.

    Happy belated birthday to Elizabeth!

  2. My father always suggested that I might be a lawyer when I grew up.

    With Elizabeth though, it more is the pluck she exhibits and the absolute ability to work a room or situation.

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