Ode to (birthday) joy

Twenty-seven years ago today, Frosty the Snowman played on the labor-room television while Jim and I waited for our second daughter to be born. By the time the evening news hit the screen, Megan had arrived and my life was forever enhanced, my heart forever expanded.

Because of Megan, I've learned ...

That "Silent Night" is a perfectly appropriate and effective lullabye.

That it is possible for me to laugh so hard my ribs, abs and obliques hurt ... for days.

To never give up hope.

And to take a picture with my heart.

That despite being scared as cuss while doing it, I can be the fiercest Mama Bear out there and challenge the so-called professionals in the name of doing what I know is right for my child.

That the words of a teen daughter are just that -- words -- and eventually they'll be apologized for or forgotten. And forgiven.

And that the stereotype of beautiful, blonde, cheerleader homecoming queens being mean-spirited bimbos is just that -- an inaccurate stereotype.

That courage looks like a young lady with braids in her hair, hands in her pockets and tears welling in her eyes as she walks to her first college campus meeting while Mom and Dad pull out of the parking lot, heading for home seven hours away.

That I can wholeheartedly love and adore someone whose political leanings -- and movie preferences -- are so different from mine.

That faith is a badge to wear loud and proud.

That bestowing the title of "Grandma" upon someone is one of the greatest honors one can give. And receive.

That there's something mesmerizing and magical in watching a child become an adult quite different -- and exceedingly better -- than the person I thought she might be.

And, most importantly, that it is indeed possible to survive with huge chunks of my heart living 819 miles away. Infinitely more lonely, but possible.

Happy 27th birthday to my goofy middle girl who will always be, no matter the number of years, my little Meggie Beggie Booger Buns!

Holiday question of the day:

What's the most magical thing to ever happen to you in December?