My Dearest Paityn,
As today started (at the bright and early time of 4:30 a.m.), I thought back to this day 15 years ago when you were brought into my life. March 3, 1999 is forever etched in my mind because of you!
I remember being at DePaul eating breakfast and getting ready to go to class when PaPa called and said that your mom was going to the hospital. Should I go home right now (by taking the train) or wait for PaPa to get off work? I just could not wait to see if you were a girl or boy and to finally meet the baby that we all had talked about for the past few months. PaPa said that he would go after work and that he would pick me up as soon as he was done for the day. I definitely did not pay attention in the education class I had that day because all I could think about was you! Boy or girl? How much would you way? Would you look like the Murphy clan?
I remember talking with your mom after you were born and how excited I was to find out you were a girl. I was a little confused about the spelling of your name (but as you know, I have come to love the fact that the girls’ names in our family are not spelled in the normal way). I loved that your mom used the middle name of JAYNE, just like every other girl in our family and now we shared something in common.
I could not wait to go shopping for all the pink and purple clothes that I could find. Shopping for you was so much fun because I had never really shopped for a baby before. When I went to Babies R Us, I was so glad I was able to shop for a girl because that is the section that has the cutest things (I never could shop for boy outfits).
I remember meeting you (my first niece) for the first time at the hospital and crying with your mom, Grandma and PaPa. You were so beautiful and tiny (5 lbs 5 oz). Even though you were a little peanut, you could scream! Those lungs cleared out the room at one point (I guess nothing much has changed).
As I look back on this day, and the countless others I have shared with you during the last 15 years, I also want to say thank you. Thank you for showing me how to love someone so much it hurts. Thank you for loving me back and showing it every time I came home from college (and still to this day, even though you are too cool sometimes to give me a hug). Thank you for calling me Auntie Kelly, even when your friends were around. Thank you for teaching me about Christmas morning routines and how to get up early just to rip open presents and ask every 5 seconds “Mine?”. Thank you for the countless memories of summers spent playing and talking while I watched you when your mom went to work. Thank you for being such a great big cousin to Ashleigh & Mollie, they love you more than you know. Thank you for putting up with Uncle Greg, even though you secretly enjoy his teasing. Thank you for being such an amazing girl who I would be proud to call my own. I can only hope that my two girls grow up to be as wonderful as you!
Happy 15th Birthday, Paityn! I cannot wait to see what the rest of your life has in store for you! I know it will be amazing!
P.S. Sorry that I did not get this out yesterday. I got started late and did not finish because I was crying so much thinking back on all that time with you. Time goes by too fast!