Today is my daughter Summer's birthday. She is 24 years old. I had her on this date, on a Thursday morning at 5:35 a.m. My life hasn't been the same ever since.
For a while it was just the two of us. When I met my husband we became a family of three. She has always been smart as a wipe. She has always made me very proud. She is a very strong personality and always has been. I always wanted to instill confidence in her and she is loaded with it. She is everything you would want in a daughter. Beautiful inside and out but not afraid to stand up to anybody or fight for what she believes in.
Even when people tried to bring her down, tried to embarrass her, she always came out on top. Both in high school and college she exhaled and was involved in many different activities. I always told her if she wanted to do it - then do it. But once she started something she wasn't going to stop until it was over. I always made sure she knew that her grades couldn't suffer from it.
From a very young age she was gifted. Her kindergarten teacher told me that she couldn't teach her anything and that she was using her as a tutor in the class for some of the children who were having difficulty. She asked about me advancing her a grade and if it hadn't been the middle of the year I would have. She didn't want to leave Jamie or April. They were her best friends. Jamie, ahem I mean James, is still one of her best friends. His mother was my best friend in high school and they migrated to each other. We still have contact with April who moved away in the 5th grade. Then there was Blake they were sweethearts since kindergarten until the 7th grade. She is also still friends with him (I also went to school with his mother lol).
This was basically her trend all through high school. When she was in the 7th grade she was given a test to see if she could be placed in the RLC program. She had already been tapped for Honor Society. She took all the advanced classes in school until they stopped the program. She won presidential awards, academic awards. When her test came back for the RLC program I was called to the school for a meeting. They told me that she was one of the highest scoring students ever in the state, she got a perfect score. Wow! They wanted her to attend a special school across town; we always called it the Taj Mahal School. But it is a school for advance academic students, there has only been like maybe three, at the time, from our school that had been asked to attend. Only one attended. She had a total of 4 ropes and sash's when she graduated. About three of the kids in her class had 3 but Summer was the only one that had 4. When asked if they could wear them they wouldn't let them wear but two.
As college approached we were swamped with literature from all kinds of colleges. That started in her sophomore year. By the time her senior year came around it was an everyday occurrence. From about the 7th grade she knew what college she wanted to go to. She went to her first band competition there and her mind was set. Well when she got in her senior year we started getting phone calls. It was unreal. Then the day came when we received three very special letters. One from her college she had dreamed about going to, JSU, the other from Alabama (The University of), the other - Yale!
Yale!! I was so excited. I read the letter waited anxiously for her to get home from school then we both were screaming as my husband walked in the door. Once he read the letter he was flabbergasted. They were basically offering a scholarship. I left the decision up to Summer as my husband and I discussed what financial expenses we would be facing. Then the letter from Alabama arrived. She was invited to visit the school. They wooed her with presents, game tickets and she loved it.
For about three months she was so undecided. She ultimately decided she didn't want to go to Yale. She said it was too far away and she didn't know anyone there. I was really relieved. I know it would have been a wonderful opportunity but her being so far away did not appeal to me. We also weren't sure about our finances as far as her living expenses, spending money and money for activities etc. My husband was working but I was still on disability, but thankfully we were able to still get her and let her do everything she ever wanted to. We weren't confident with our ability to keep that up at a place like Yale. I do however have that first letter and subsequent letters from Yale framed.
So then she went back and forth between Alabama and JSU. Now I loved both schools but my heart was with Alabama it always has been. We are very intense Alabama fans and that goes back to 4 or 5 generations, probably more. When I went to visit the JSU campus for parent's day, I fell in love with it too. It is just a nice campus in a nice little town. I had been there many times for band competitions but that only consisted of the RV parking lot, the school bus parking lot and of course the football field.
So ultimately she picked JSU and received a small scholarship. After she had enrolled and a couple of months before she was to attend she got another scholarship. We ended up only having to pay for her meals and of course spending money. The scholarship paid for tuition, fees, books and dorm. Late in her sophomore year she moved into an apartment, of course we then had to pay for that. She was involved in theatre and we were privileged to see her perform in several plays. I love theatre and it was great seeing her and how talented she was. She was really involved in the Greek life on compass too. She became a Delta Zeta!! They wanted her and fought for her. She was given a special invitation and didn't even have to participate in rush.
Before her junior year she decided to come home. She had got engaged the night before she first went off to college and well she missed her boyfriend. Since, she has grown into a beautiful woman and a wonderful mother. She is a very strong, courageous, confident, intelligent, loving and giving person. Someone who knows who she is and what she wants out of this life. She is my daughter! I am so proud at what a great mom she is. She spends a lot of time with her son even while working part time. She enjoys getting to help her husband out and planning and saving for the home they are going to build on 10 acres of property they own. She has so much energy and even 5 months pregnant you will find her on the floor wrestling around with her son.
She has always been very active and being a mother hasn't slowed her down at all. I remember when she was little and I worked, when I got home I barely had the energy to sit with her and watch her do her homework. I definitely didn't have any physical energy to tumble, run, jump, chase and play like she does. Her little boy is very hyper and rambunctious and she is right there with him.
She has always made me very proud. Yes we have had our ups and downs and growing pains with her. But we have always had a closeness that is even stronger now. I don't ever have to call her and bug her to talk to me or to find out what the doctor said or anything. When she goes some where she calls and lets me know where she is and then she calls and let me know when she gets home. She does this cause she knows that I worry. I have no restrictions on seeing her or my grandchild. We still enjoy seeing and being with each other almost every day. We live in towns right next to each other but even when she lived in Mtn. Brook I still seen her several times a week. We are not just mother and daughter we are friends!
I had mentioned that we became a family when I met my husband. He is the only father she has ever known. He was the one that she went to when she wanted something and knew that I wouldn't like it or wouldn't let her do it. I am proud of their closeness as well. She would even go talk to her father about personal intimate things. He would tell me that he gets embarrassed sometimes but that he is glad she can come to him about anything. She still does. He doesn't get embarrassed anymore, lol he is use to it now. When she would walk into the house and would ask where he was I knew she was going to talk to him to get him on her side about something. It would be later in the evening when we were in bed when he would bring it up. I could never win when both of them teamed up together.
He loved it when she was pregnant with our grandchild. We bought a monitor and he would cry every time he heard Ray's heartbeat. He was a nervous wreck when she was delivering him. He cried because he didn't want to see her in pain. I am glad that they are still so close and that they too aren't just father and daughter but friends.
Happy Birthday, I love you with all of my heart!!