This is a re-release of the blog celebrating Emily’s 13th birthday last year — she turned 14 yesterday, worthy of a Sunday Series celebrating her life and her place in our hearts.
Our Baby Girl.
For her entire life that’s who Emily will always be to us, no matter how “old” she gets. Today our baby girl turns 13. I believe every birthday is a big deal, this one will be special for Emily in so many ways.
I launched this blog the day my other daughter, Sophie, turned 13 back on January 9, 2013 and 416 posts later, we’re all going strong. In fact since July 16th, 2002 Emily has always been “going strong”. She doubled the unconditional love for this family on that day and since the moment she took her first breath she’s been one-of-a-kind.
Her favorite line, almost from the time she could speak in sentences was, “I do it myself!!” And although her grammar has improved with age :), her determination to accomplish things on her own has rarely wavered. Smart, beautiful, funny and focused on what she needs to do… Emily looks at the world around her and simply finds a way. Her smile can light up the world, her laughter makes time stand still for a moment.
And moments are what it’s all about.
As her father, Emily has provided me some of my most fulfilling, doing what she does best, by doing it herself. For nearly half her life she has played softball, and I have coached her team. These past few years she has performed in the position which her disposition serves her well – standing alone on the pitcher’s mound, maybe one of the most pressure-filled positions in all of sports. There have been plenty of moments on that mound, some great, some not-so-great. But with each pitch Emily learns something about herself, about winning, about losing, about failure, about success, about simply staying within yourself and keeping your head in the game. It’s not always easy, it’s not always pretty, it’s not supposed to be, but it’s worth it.
There might be nothing in life like watching the girl I love, play the game I love. I’ve watched Emily struggle as she walks the bases loaded, then comes back to strike out the side. And it’s the moment right after that moment that matters – the one that leaves an indelible mark on my heart – the smile on her face – the high-five as she approaches the bench and that feeling of pure joy that is nothing short of a pure home run.
Moments like that are big, but they are only a close second to the simplest of gestures. The times Emily still gives me a hug for no reason, lays her head on my shoulder, or nearly every night, even as a tween, she still walks into our bedroom to kiss us goodnight and say, “I love you”.
We love you too baby girl. You own our hearts by “doing it yourself”.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Emmy Winner, USHEALTH Advisors
Author: The #1 Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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