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Entry date: 6-22-2022 - Happy Birthday Teresa - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Sweet sixteen today. Teresa Bean. Loki to some, but I’m still allowed to call her Teresa. Sometimes I call her “Bean” which I started calling her when she was just about the size of one. She goes by Taren, too, around the house and I think it is kind of cute. My daughter makes me smile a lot.

I talked a little bit about how she came to be a few blogs ago. She was born in Mesa in one of those giant hospitals out there. Rhondi and I had to walk around the place quite a lot because Teresa was taking her sweet time getting here. I remember being so nervous. I had no real reference point for what the whole birth thing was about, so I just tried to be strong and keep calm. Rhondi assured me everything was fine, so I did my best to relax.

When she got here, all the grandmas were in the room watching. I was there holding Rhondi’s hand and full of anticipation. She came out and was absolutely perfect and I loved her instantly. Profoundly, really. It is hard to describe with any accuracy in words, I think, how it feels to see your child for the first time. You’re looking at her and she’s trying to get you into focus, so she’s staring so intently yet innocently.

Again, she was perfect.

I’ve shared her early tendency to douse me in vomit or pee or poop, so I’ll let you go back and read about that if you want. I loved spending a lot of time with her for those first four months of her life. When school started up again, I couldn’t wait to get to Karen’s and pick her up after I was done. I loved having a baby bag and dressing her up in her little outfits. Things I never thought I would love to do but did.

She was the star attraction when Rhondi and I got married in Rangeley on August 5, 2006. She wore a little dress with cherries on it and everyone thought she was just the best thing ever, just like I did. As she started to grow, she remained adorable and showed us all how smart she is, too. She was very much Daddy’s girl and I loved to take her places with me.

She’s a pretty good sister, too. The kids all loved her a lot from the get-go and were very protective of her. I think Ryan even found her to be pretty darn entertaining. We have a wonderful picture of the whole tribe from just after Liam getting here that I treasure.

Liam and Teresa were a pretty good pair, early on. Liam just worshipped his big sister. Even now he is still a good brother when he’s not being a shit to her. Teresa puts up with a lot from him and probably would kick his ass a lot if she didn’t know deep down that he would do anything for her.

Teresa is not super quick to make friends and doesn’t put herself out there easily. A lot of this comes from having the sense of humor she has, which was not a typical one for grade school age kids. I think a lot of her classmates over the years probably annoyed the hell out of her and some were downright mean.

I think it was third grade when she announced to a class full of Hispanic kids that she did not believe in God. This did not make her very popular, and she was bullied. The school tried to help but their efforts were not good enough in my opinion. I was so glad when she moved over to her current school in eighth grade.

She’s got a really nice group of friends now and I enjoy hearing the tidbits she shares with me. She’s developed a kind of goth-y style and likes to raid my t-shirt collection from time to time. I enjoy giving the shirts to her and am always a little bummed when she declines one that I think she will like.

Teresa inherited the artistic side from Rhondi, which is awesome and draws very cool pictures. She’s also learning about making films and loves to act. I am very proud of this side of her. This year she is going to focus on photography, as well, so I am excited about that. I think she’s going to have a great eye.

She definitely sees the world in her own way. As she develops her drawing and photography, I can see her having a great perspective on how our world looks and feels. I would love for her to supply the visuals for stories I write or, who knows, maybe even provide visuals for me to write about. I see collaborations in our future.

Lately Teresa has been talking about going to college for acting and becoming an acting teacher down the road. I love this idea for her. For a long time, she wanted to do something related to horses, but I think she may have grown out of that phase. One of her favorite things as a younger person was collecting Breyer horses and she has a huge collection.

She even went to Louisville one year with her grandparents to a big Breyer event. She loved it and as a somewhat nervous flyer, I was proud of her for going through with it. She did a bunch of local Breyer events and won a fair number of blue ribbons for her collection and how she displayed her horses.

As she’s gotten older, though, and fully embraced her teenage-ness, the horses have gone to the wayside in favor of anime and Batman. I can easily get behind her Bat fandom as I am a big Bat fan, too. I’m curious what her next big obsession will be. Whatever it is, I look forward to watching her embrace a new passion.

Happy birthday, Bean. I love you.

See you tomorrow.

Stole this picture from Rhondi's page. TQ is wearing her favorite shirt.

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