Today this little princess turns eight.
I think in every family, whether you have one kid or twelve, everyone brings their own unique “je ne sais quoi” to the mix. I’ve said it a hundred times (and will no doubt say it a hundred more), but what Tegan did was complete us. She filled the Tegan-sized hole that we didn’t even know existed until we realized someone was missing. Life with the three boys was so wonderful. So fun. So colorful. But Tegan…. she brought the TECHNI-color. She brought the glitter. She brought the fireworks. She brought the puffy hearts and rainbows. And I thank God for every day she’s been a part of our lives.
Here are just eight awesome things I love about her:
1. She’s confident. She is so confidently, and unabashedly Tegan. From the clothes she wears, to the things she does with her hair, to the selfies she takes, to the new adventures she tries every day… she jumps in with both feet, looks the world in the eye, and says, “Here I come.” When people tell her her new haircut makes her look like a boy – which just happened again yesterday – she shrugs and tells them she loves it short.
2. She never met a stranger. By far the most extroverted of the four kids, Tegan makes friends with everyone she meets. Not just superficial friends either, but best friends. Older kids, younger kids, teens, adults; it doesn’t matter to her. She spent a day at work with Mike last month, and when she got home, she was so excited to tell me about Viktoriya, his beautiful coworker with the fancy clothes and fun office, who gave her candy and became her new best friend and was “the sweetest person she ever met.” She meets you, she finds the best and most lovable and most beautiful things about you. Every time.
3. She faces her fears. I originally wrote this as, “She’s fearless”, but then I realized that that wasn’t really the case. Of course she has fears. We all have fears. What’s awesome about Tegan is that I’ve yet to see her fears or nervousness or uncertainty hold her back from anything she’s wanted to do. She danced in front of 20,000 people, twice (and LOVED it); she rode the loop coaster that terrified her (and LOVED it); she’s started acting in plays (and LOVES it). She’s brave and bold and doesn’t let anything stop her.
4. She’s compassionate. She often makes me get well cards when I’m not feeling well (yesterday’s was complete with a drawing of her bringing me a cup of tea :)) She’s always thinking of her friends. She wants the people around her to be happy. She has such a huge heart for the people, and the animals – including the stuffed variety – that she loves, and deeply cares about others’ feelings, comfort, and happiness.
5. She’s affectionate. She gives rogue hugs, she’s free with her kisses, and when she comes in bed with us, it’s always with an arm (or a leg, or a whole body) thrown with abandon over my back.
6. She asks big questions. Oh boy, this girl. She ponders the big things in life. A car ride with Tegan often means conversations about heaven, life and death, prejudice, what makes a good friend, love, heartache, and everything in between. She’s also the first of the four kids who insisted she not get a sugar-coated answer to where babies come from.
7. She loves performing. Singing, dancing, acting, improv, story telling. Give her a stage (or a living room, or a closet, or a soapbox, or….) and she’s on it. When she was younger, she was riding in the cart at Target, and suddenly started smiling, and waving, and blowing kisses all around us as I pushed her down the aisle. I asked her what she was doing and she looked at me like I’d asked a really silly question and said, “I’m in a parade. I’m waving to all my fans.” This is a girl who does not mind if she’s the center of attention. When I was kid, I once hid under the table at my roller rink birthday party because I was so embarrassed that my party guests were singing to me. Tegan would love it if the whole room was singing to her.
8. She’s a nut. In a nutshell (see what I did there?), she is a goofy, crazy, ball of energy and one-liners, who loves to laugh and to make the people around her laugh as well.
She’s also a loyal friend, a doting daughter, and I couldn’t possibly love her more.
Happy, happy birthday Tegan! Thank you for choosing me to be your mom. I love you a million, billion, zillion.