Wednesday, July 15, 2015

18-years of Cami!

In celebration of Cami's 18th birthday today, here's a glimpse of what she was like through the years.... 

1-year-old--Starting at about 9-months-old, she would cry so hard that she'd pass out several times a week.  The doctor was amazed and said that that was usually the behavior of a manipulative toddler and that we should just accept the notion that we had a strong-willed and stubborn child on our hands.  

2-years-old--She was a feisty little two-year-old who spoke in complete sentences from a young age.  I have  vivid memories of her telling off innocent strangers that dared called her a cute "baby".  She would put her hands on her hips and very sassily declare that she was not a baby, but a big girl instead!

3-years-old--She was still  chunky and short as a three-year-old, so she was constantly amazing people with her advanced speech, because she looked so much younger than she really was.  

4-years-old--She made a startling realization one day when she was four that L-M-N-O and P were all separate letters, not one nebulous five syllable letter.  This rocked her world and forever changed the way she sang the alphabet song.    Each time she'd come to that section of the song, she'd slow down and slowly enunciate each letter separately, taking care not to accidentally slur them together.   Sometimes she'd sing that section again and again until she had enunciated them well enough for her standards.

5-years-old--She was a short, spunky little kindergartner that wore fancy dresses most days.   She loved school from day-one and put her 110% into everything she did, even as a five year old.

6-years-old-- I remember after Adam was born and Cami was displaced from the double stroller, that she would scream and complain the entire way when we went on family walks together.   I sometimes wondered what the neighbors thought of her loud complaining and our circus of kids walking down the street, but we stubbornly still went on walks on a regular basis anyway.   It took a few years, but eventually she toned down the yelling and now really enjoys hiking with the family.

7-years-old--"Red, yellow, violet, and blue.  Here is a rainbow for you.   My favorite color is blue.  If yours is not too, I will sue you."  --an original poem  by Cami, age 7ish

8-years-old--I remember getting frustrated with Cami on a regular basis when she was in third grade, because she would knock herself out on every single school project she tackled.  One particular time that I remember best, she'd spent hours and hours making a "Table of Contents" which she still wasn't satisfied with.   I finally threw up my hands in frustration and demanded that she called it, "good enough" so we could all get some sleep!

9-years-old--She was the one of the shortest people in her classes through elementary school, but this was the year that she finally outgrew her size 6 clothes.   It was weird how long she stayed the same size and how excited she was when it finally happened!

10-years-old--this is when her love of baking really took off.  At this point she started volunteering to make everybody's birthday cake and since  I've never been all that great at making cakes,  I was happy to oblige.   She usually made "people" cakes at first, but slowly branched out from there.

11-years-old--In sixth grade, Cami decided to take over the school.  She was the student council president, a patrol, and an announcer for  the daily announcements.   It sounds great, but her teacher that year really really really didn't like her and all the extracurricular activities that took her out of the classroom on a daily basis.    It still seems ridiculous how hard he tried to get her in "trouble" by regularly calling us in for meetings with him so he could tell us how irresponsible she was.   And it wasn't just our imagination either, since  I regularly  got comments from other kids' parents  wondering why on earth Mr. K didn't like Cami.   Somehow she made it out with her confidence relatively unscathed and we were relieved when he retired shortly thereafter and none of my other kids ever had to have him.    Actually I wouldn't have allowed it.    He clearly had issues.

12-years-old-- Middle school, schmiddle school.   It definitely wasn't her favorite year, but it did at least make her excited for homeschooling for 8th grade as per our family tradition!

13-years-old--This was the year I homeschooled her and she really developed her talent of baking.   She loved to make special treats for friends and this was when she realized how much she loved making cupcakes.

14-years-old--Her freshman year of high school was the year that Spencer got sick and she had to grow up fast.   Not only was she the face of our family at seminary and school every day, but she suddenly had a lot more responsibility at home as well.   She rose to the occasion beautifully and became all the better for having experienced it.

15-years-old--Cami originally started selling her cupcakes this year as a way to raise money for childhood cancer research, but eventually it grew into a full-blown part-time job for her.   She's since catered for dozens of weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties.

16-years-old--Junior year was an INSANE time for her.   She was taking three challenging AP courses this year and somehow subsisted on mere molecules of sleep.  We kept trying to talk her into dropping some of the extraneous activities from her life (winter track or being an NHS officer), but  she wouldn't have anything to do with it.   She marched forward, succeeding on all of her AP exams, and survived to take a slightly less-demanding course load for senior year.   This was also the time when she really solidified the idea of how much she loves to help people and went to Mexico with my uncle's family to help build a home for an impoverished family.

17-years-old--This was a pivotal time in Cami's life.    This was also the year that she saw a lot of the hard work she'd put forth over the last few years come to fruition.    She was accepted into her dream school, graduated in the top tier of her class, gave the valedictory speech at graduation,  made a lot of important decisions, and even received a few scholarships for her efforts.          

18-years-old--Weirdly, she hasn't accomplished much since she's been 18 (for the last few hours),  but I do have it on good authority that she is on Capitol Hill as I type, so who knows...


Twinkies said...

I'd vote for her! Happy birthday, Cami!

Jennifer McArthur said...

It made me so happy to read this post and get to know Cami better! She is light and warmth and goodness all at once in so many ways! She is a credit to her momma and papa and the way she was raised!

R said...

Happy Birthday Cami. Hope it was a great day for you. What a wonderful young woman you are.

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