Happy birthday to one of the best people I know

My daughter Katherine is one of the best people I know.

I’m not saying that because today is her birthday and I am the one that gave birth to her, in the middle of an ice storm after a 45-minute labor; though all that is true.

I am saying it because she writes thank you notes and sends them.

She bakes tons of cookies with things like caramel chips and frozen marshmallows in them, and then she gives them away.

She volunteers every week at a homeless shelter, a gig she takes so seriously that she asked for arts and craft supplies and ethnically diverse children’s books for Christmas.

She sends Valentine’s Day cards to all of us.

She has skinned the same knee, thoroughly and on multiple occasions during her runs though the city. But, she picks herself up, rolls up her torn tights, and limp/jogs through the rest of her run. Every time.

She loves spreadsheets and knows how to use them.

She regularly hosts overnight guests, including myself, in her studio apartment. She even puts a chocolate on the pillow of her only bed, while she rolls out an air mattress for herself.

She has assembled a global tribe of talent and mutual support.

Her very first friend is still one of her best.

She dates judiciously because she thinks about her brothers and how they would feel and she doesn’t want to lead anyone on.

She has raised her baby sister to be brave and strong.

She loves Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, but her favorite place is our cabin in the Wisconsin Northwoods.

She eats street cart tacos as often as she can.

She prefers spoken word to text or tweet.

Even among her proud cacophony of candidates and causes, she listens. We spell her name with an un-Hepburn “e” and I think it stands for empathy.

She has a sense of humor and she knows how to use it.

She shares a generous and enviable relationship with her sister-from-another-mister and comedy partner Leah.

She claims to have willed herself away from an avocado allergy and eats pretty much anything.

She practices yoga even though she’s very tall, somewhat inflexible, and cartilage-challenged in loud and creaky ways.

She calms herself by watching Pride and Prejudice, the Joe Wright version.

She talks to her mother pretty much every day and responds to text within the maternally-mandated time frame.

She wears Packer colors on game day…in Chicago.

She accidentally set her meditation table on fire in the middle of a conversation with me, hung up to douse it with a wet towel and her bare hands, and then called me back with her print-less fingers to make sure I was ok.

She dearly loves to laugh.

Born in an ice storm that caused our car to spin out on the way to the hospital, Katherine hit her mark anyway. She’s been deadline-focused ever since.
She and her Grandpa Vince share a competitive spirit and a sharp wit.
I love this picture of Katherine and her great-grandfather, Pap.
Too cool for school.
I can blink and see Katherine with her trusty Aladdin backpack, white ankle socks and blue Keds T-strap school shoes, which I bought her nearly every year as long as she let me.
My dad took this picture of Katherine climbing trees at our cabin.
And I took this one a few weekends ago at the same cabin. I like the winding trail sign on the path, because that’s what Katherine’s life has been and will continue to be — a winding trail of excitement and joy.

4 thoughts on “Happy birthday to one of the best people I know

  1. Two comments:
    She discovered that her birthday was my half birthday and has been celebrating that ever since!

    She made me a birthday cake that was topped off with a globe marking the countries I’ve visited and lugged it to Milwaukee on the train.

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