Today is my daughter's 17th birthday. I remember going to the hospital seventeen years ago around eight in the morning. Katie was two weeks late (an issue she is still trying to remedy today). Kim and I had been married for five years, and I had just graduated college. I was about to take my first pastoral job, and we were all excited about the new baby coming soon. But the time had come, no more waiting. As they gave Kim the epidural, I watched her fade into lala land. This was the only time I have ever seen my wife on drugs.
Everything started happening rather quickly about 12:00. And a little after 12:30, Katie Kathlynn Sizemore was crying on the seen. She was supposed to be a boy. My dad had four boys. But God had other plans for us. I had already raised my brothers. I knew about boys. What was I going to do with this sweet little girl. I called my mother to find her overjoyed with the news. Mom had never had a girl that she could dress up and go shopping, so Katie was doomed right from the start. Not only was she the first grandbaby but a granddaughter as well.
Some of my fondest memories are laying in the floor of her room playing with her toys as we pretended to be all kinds of things. When she was five, we had just moved to Borger and that is where she started school. We would go to her plays and eventually go to all her sporting events. We are the proud parents in the stands cheering for every shot or run she was in.
She's getting older now. We had our first serious talk about college, dreams, and life for my not so little girl. These are such exciting times and scary times. I want to let her go as I pull her close. (If your a parent you'll understand.) There are so many things I want to teach her; so many things she needs to know. Sometimes she calls me Dad and something she calls me Pops, but when she calls I am here, ready to love, ready to encourage, instruct, guide, or just listen. Katie deserves that. She's my daughter, my first born, my pain in the butt, and my pride and joy all wrapped up in one very special person.
Happy birthday Katie!