Samantha’s moving up

Urgh. Exhaustion is the word of the day here, and I’m spending all my energy working at bucking the urge to tuck up on the chesterfield with my knitting (and maybe go card some things sideways) with tea and the tv. I should probably just give in, since all I’m really managing is to gather my self up and go sit at my desk, not work at my desk, and if I’m not working anyway, maybe knitting and drinking tea while I’m not working would be more pleasant than sitting at my desk not working while feeling badly about not working. (Clearly working is right out.)

I’ll gather myself up in a bit and bake a cake for my wee Sam, who celebrates her 15th birthday today.

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Sam is my youngest child, and that picture above was taken just about this time of day February 17th, 15 years ago (Sam was born at home) and I think it’s funny how much her being my third has influenced the whole way I parent her. I never counted her wet diapers, nor made pureed baby foods for her… as a matter of fact, I don’t even remember giving her solid food. I think she took it off a table.

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This more relaxed attitude to parenting, her last-ness… makes everything she does so bittersweet to me, since it’s the last time a child of mine will do any of it – and that’s both sad and thrilling. Yesterday was the last day I would have a 14 year old- and it makes so much of it charming.

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The last time a child of mine will go to grade nine, the last time a 14 year old will fight with me about privileges, the last time I’ll see a 14 year old daughter off to bed or tell her for the 1678765th time that no, she can’t go on facebook and I don’t think the mall is a valid cultural experience. It’s the last time a 14 year old (of mine) will blow off their homework … Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I think that the fact that she’s my youngest might be the only thing keeping me from flipping out (more) a lot of the time. There’s a lot to be said about knowing that you’re having your last argument with a 14 year old, and that there isn’t another teenager headed your way that can give a mother fortitude.

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Sam’s a pretty lovely girl, with a great big brain and a wonderful sense of humour (and deeply witty sarcasm) and I think we’re well suited to each other at this point, although there’s no end to the irony of parenting her. For example, I’m convinced that the only reason she tries some of the stuff she does is because she had older sisters to inspire and instruct her (I had a great moment as a mother a while ago when I heard Meg tell Sam that she aught to just back off on something, because Meg could tell her that this one was a “no win” when it came to this issue and their mother.) conversely, I think that the only reason that I can handle the stuff she tries is because I had her same sisters to instruct and inspire me.

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As she’s grown, Samantha’s been the only one of my kids that’s given me whiplash. I go from not worrying at all because I know what I’m doing, since I’ve had other people to practice on, and then being terrified as I realize that every kid is so unique that nothing can ever really prepare you for them. I sometimes wonder what it’s like to be a youngest child, and get a mother who swings back and forth from “I’ve got your number” to “what the hell is going on”, sometimes in a single hour.

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Sam is bright to the point of brilliance, witty to the point of sparkling, persuasive in a way that’s almost dangerous, difficult in a way that makes you want to rip your own lips off, and she simply won’t be told what to do by anyone (which is a plus, I think… depending on which end of it you may be on.) I’ve met people like that before (and I occasionally spot a few of those traits in the mirror) and so I find her antics and adventures engaging, entertaining, terrifying and worrisome (partly because I know she’s capable of so much more in every possible way – better and worse) and some days – I can’t believe that this sort of incredible creature could have been made by me and some materials I found lying around the house.

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Samantha is, and has been, since the day she was born – a surprise. She was the only baby I’ve ever held where I thought that it was going to be a cake-walk to raise her. I felt sure, on this day 15 years ago, that having been taught about parenting by her sisters, that she would always be easy. Having done it twice before, I was sure that now I’d know everything about what I was doing, and that being her mother would simply be a matter of applying everything I’d learned the hard way from her sisters. Samantha had a lot in store for me. She’s taught me a lot I didn’t know about individuality, humility, learning and the fact that no parent ever really knows what they’re doing – and that every teenager thinks they know it all. I love her to bits, and I’m grateful that she hasn’t been easy, because it would have been a lot less fun, a lot less loud and a lot less interesting to get to know her. Thanks Sam, I love you, and I can’t wait to see who you are next year. I know it’s going to be someone even more wonderful than you are now, because you’ve been someone better with every passing moment of your life. It’s a privilege to be your mum, and I hope the stuff we’ve both screwed up doesn’t matter in the long run… I don’t think it does, since Mum’s and 15 year olds have been working it out since the dawn of time. (Maybe we could both tell ourselves that on the hard days.) Happy Birthday. There’s no finer 15 year old alive, and I’m not just saying that because you’re my last one.


(By the way Sam? Just because I said I’m grateful you haven’t been easy does not mean you may infer that I want to have the talk about the mall again. Case closed.)

PS: To the anonymous woman sitting near me on the plane from Seattle to Toronto yesterday – nice socks. I have the same kit. Sorry I was too shy to talk to you, but I wanted you to know that I think it was cool that you were doing bead knitting on a plane, and you’ve inspired me to think about starting mine. They’re beautiful.

315 thoughts on “Samantha’s moving up

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAM!
    (I know, that’s shouting. There are some things that just cry out to be shouted. I now return to using my polite indoor voice.)
    (Born at home? Wow.)
    (My 12-year-old is on Facebook. Does that make me a bad parent?)

  2. What a lovely birthday present! I have 3 daughter’s also – 12,10,8. It made me feel a little teary…Enjoy the birthday!

  3. What a moving tribute to your daughter. It actually brought me near tears (and I don’t cry. ever.)
    I can’t believe you’re too shy to speak up to another knitter! I understand being too shy but you should NEVER be. (As a knitter she would have loved talking to you, you have to know that.)
    Out of politeness, I would never approach you/talk with you but I’d be thrilled if you started up a convo with me.

  4. Happy birthday, Sam.
    Steph, you have me laughing to the point of tears, refering to your husband as “some materials I found lying around the house.”
    Bead knitting– Roxie? Nah, you couln’t be contemplating the same kit I am. I don’t knit from kits… yet.

  5. I should add– that’s some nice-looking flock of young women you’re raising. Aren’t you glad you don’t still have your same hairstyle from back then?

  6. Huh. Must be the beaded socks from Rockin’ Sock Club. I am in *fear* of this kit and don’t know if I’ll ever start it. I wound the yarn ’cause I wanted to make sure I didn’t have knots …
    But to do this on a plane!!?!?
    Oh wait – beads are pre-strung.
    (Happy Birthday, Sam.)

  7. Happy Birthday to Sam, and Congratulations to you!
    I just have to say how funny I think it is that you were too shy to talk to the woman on the plane. I once stood behind you at Rhinebeck, but was too shy to say hello to you. We were in the chocolate line and you were wearing your recently completed wedding shawl. So, a few years late — hi! glad to meet you! gorgeous shawl!

  8. Happy 15th birthday to Sam! February is an excellent time of the year for birthdays! What wonderful pictures, too.
    (I just started my first round of dealing with a 15 year old. My eldest turned 15 a little over a week ago. He’s the only reason I have a Facebook account myself, actually. He griped to his buddies about me “insisting” on having him add me to his friends list, but wouldn’t ever let his buddies know that he’s the one who suggested I get the account in the first place.)

  9. Happy birthday, it’s been wonderful to see you grow up and change form a young lady to a young woman. Enjoy it while you can.

  10. Your tributes to your daughters on their birthdays are always so lovely. I am glad to hear about your shyness. I was unable to pluck up the nerve to talk to anyone this past week at Madrona. What a great 4 days! Thank you for your involvement!

  11. Stephanie,
    What a lovely homage to your daughter and parenting. I too find that you can’t get too comfortable with teenagers, ’cause the second you kid yourself with–ok, this is going well, I’ve figured this out—you turn around and go where the “$(*#&” did that come from…but those times truly make us appreciate the more peaceful times…Many blessings to your lovely daughter, may she have matching handknit hats and mittens as long as she wants them…(was this Samantha who pointed this out to you?) Rest up, the world of knitting does not sit still!! Knit on…Rebecca

  12. Roses and champagne to you, Stephanie, for being the Mommy. And roses and ginger ale to you, Sam, for being you. Happy Birthday!

  13. And I didn’t want to invade your privacy, as I thought you had been sufficiently hounded during the last 4 days at Madrona. Thank you for the compliment — it is an enjoyable knit. It was a nice quiet flight with minimal businessmen on board being loud and obnoxious. I hope you got plenty of knitting done. And yes, I was not going to tempt fate by stringing the beads on the plane. It would have guaranteed my spilling them on the floor and you would have found me, swearing (in French) while I picked them up from the floor, between the seats and the passengers’ feet. Hopefully, I’ll see you one day at Lettuce Knit!

  14. Happy birthday Sam from another Samm. πŸ™‚ Funny that I was just reading for the first time, the last things chapter in one of the books, about your Sam. I know the feelings. My littlest kidlet has two of his own now, my youngest of four boys. The day it hit me was when he graduated from Cubs to Scouts and I knew I would never be the mother of a Cub again. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your youngest! It’s sad and happy all tangled up like a wayward skein, raising kids. πŸ™‚

  15. Happy Birthday to Sam!
    (Will she be outwardly embarrassed by this lovely post? It’s the sort of thing I’d complain about to my mum, while secretly being really, really happy to see her tell the world how much she thinks I rock.)

  16. Happy Birthday to Sam!
    And to Stephanie – what a lovely tribute to your beautiful daughter! She sounds like a person who would be a joy to know, and who will grow up to have a full and exciting life!

  17. Happy Birthday, Sam, and much joy to both of you! Stephanie, it’s such a gift to be reflective now rather than after they’ve all flown. My oldest son will be a first-time father soon, and I’m savoring every moment. May your futures be full of blessings!

  18. Happy Birthday to Sam and thank you to you. You always write such lovely posts on your daughters’ birthdays, and in doing so, you remind and inspire all of us parents to really see our own children.

  19. Congratulations to both of you! Achieving the status of having three daughters all in one piece at this stage is quite the accomplishment. Add in the fact that they all seem to be brilliant, independent young women and I’d say that you’re a shining success of motherhood. That being said, my girls are 12, 10 and 8. If I promised you lots of cashmere would you come spend a few years with mine?

  20. Okay, so now I feel guilty for that comment. My girls are all pretty good and I didn’t mean to infer otherwise. But the idea of teenagers seems quite daunting at times. Please don’t turn me into CPS for trying to foist my children off on someone else.

  21. I hope you print this entry out, put it in an envelope and hang onto it until Sam leaves home. Sneak it into one of her boxes so she can find and read it several years from now.

  22. Happy Birthday, Sam! Steph.. glad you’re home and well-rested! LOL btw, Cowl? How’s it coming? Before long here in NJ, it’ll be spring….. (wishful thinking on my part, hearing snow is predicted for tomorrow………)
    Welcome home!

  23. You not only produce beautiful knitting and beautiful writing but also beautiful daughters! Happy birth day to both you and Sam!
    And btw, you are a brave woman to post a picture of yourself from 15 years ago. That’s just long enough ago for everything to look dated, but not long enough ago for things to look “vintage” and cool again.
    And I bet that no matter how exhausted you are now, it’s nothing compared to how exhausted you were 15 years ago today (and tomorrow and the week after!)
    Love to you and yours, Steph. Thanks for sharing your life with the Blog.

  24. Happy Birthday, Sam! Steph.. glad you’re home and well-rested! LOL btw, Cowl? How’s it coming? Before long here in NJ, it’ll be spring….. (wishful thinking on my part, hearing snow is predicted for tomorrow………)
    Welcome home!

  25. Happy Birthday Sam. πŸ™‚
    Isn’t it nice to be able to appreciate your kids πŸ™‚ My youngest is 19 and it just keeps getting better. Don’t worry you will go through it all again when the wee ones have wee ones of their own. (I have 4 grands now) Nice thing is you go through all the special parts of life with them then you can send them home again! LOL.
    P.S. You still looking for the Patons Classics in Kroy?

  26. Great birthday gift to your daughter. I loved your post, although I find it hard to imagine you as shy. I am so glad your fellow traveler recognized you. (Saw her response here.)

  27. My own last one at home just turned 16. She and your Sam sound very much alike. I know I’m not driving this boat–I just try to steer it in the right direction and hold on tight. It’s quite the ride! Happy birthday Sam. Be gentle with your mom!

  28. Happy Birthday Sam! Fantastic pictures of awesome sisters. (and Mom too)
    And congratulations to you, Stephanie, on surviving the teenage years of three daughters. I know you have a little more to go, but I think the hardest years are behind you.
    I understand the bittersweet feelings of watching your youngest grow. I only have one child left at home, a 17 year old with whom I am constantly battling, mostly about curfew, and where it is acceptable for him to go He doesn’t appreciate how fortunate he is to be the youngest. Having learned on the older three, he is allowed a lot more freedom than they ever had. If he has a complaint, I tell him to call his oldest brother to hear what his curfew was. That usually stops him from complaining.
    I am planning a big graduation party when he graduates, not for him, but for me. I am going to invite everyone who helped me survive parenting four children by myself for the last 15 years. You may even receive an invitation, Stephanie. Your books and blog have definitely helped me make it through some difficult times the past few years.

  29. Happy birthday to Sam. Congratulations to you Stephanie on raising three beautiful girls. There is nothing in the world as cool as watching a tiny person that you made grow, learn, and come her own person.
    Best wishes to Sam on her birthday and to you as you recover from your travels.

  30. Happy Birthday Sam. Be a good girl for your mother. Cause I have to deal with her if your not good. Please Sam, be a good girl..
    Love your Denny0x0x0x0

  31. I think it’s good to know which baby is your last. I feel the same way about my third, although she’s only 4 months old. I’ve been known to hold her tight and say, “No child of mine will ever be one week old again!” Which is not to say that I didn’t treasure the moments with the first two, but I expected I’d be doing them again.
    I don’t so much feel that I’ve learned all my parenting lessons, but I do feel I finally have the details down–nursing anywhere, changing diapers in a flash–and it’s a shame my streamlined talents won’t be needed again.
    Anyway. I do ramble. Happy birth-day to you both! I’m quite certain my mother didn’t like me this much when I was 15; tell Sam she’s lucky.

  32. Sorry, I am not trying to hijack this blog, but to those readers who are wondering what I was knitting, it was indeed Sivia Harding’s Queen of Beads pattern from Socks That Rock, 1st instalment of 2009. A beautiful pattern, a very enjoyable knit.

  33. As the youngest of three girls..I have been told by my co worker that “three sister syndrome is the single most under addressed mental health issue in the US”
    I disagree..it is a pleasure to be the youngest to two of your favorite people you know!
    Happy Birthday Sam

  34. Everytime you write about one of your girls, I ache a little that I only have my boy. Then I remember myself as a teenage girl, and I kiss my boy again, thanking my lucky stars that I didn’t create a mini-me.
    You’ve done good.

  35. I just have to tell you, there are thousands of reasons that I think you are cool, from the knitting to the feminist rants to the wry sense of humor. But the fact that you had your daughter at home…well. You’re in my list of top five cool chicks, now.

  36. Beautiful. Really. Beautiful.
    Happy Birthday, Samantha!
    (I’m now going to go smooch my 17 month old little girl who is upstair sleeping and pray that 15 doesn’t come tomorrow for us like I’m sure it will)

  37. Happy Birthday, Sam!! I love the great big joyous smile you share with your sister(s) in every single one of those photos… except maybe the first — I can’t stop looking at your mum’s ginormous glasses in that one — is anyone smiling there?

  38. I would say you were being a fond mother except that Sam not only did turn beautiful there in some 24 hour period, but her recent comment on recognizing knitters by their exquisite mismatched pieces opened my eyes (and from the comments, those of a good many others) in ways likely to actually change my behavior. Not many people can make that boast.
    And we’re going to have to have a leetle talk about this “shy” thing. You can talk to 700 people but not say “nice socks” to one? Good thing Manon posted to ease our troubled minds — and how wonderful that she outfoxed you, knew it was you all along. (Feel famous yet?)

  39. Happy Birthday to Sam! What a wonderful tribute to your daughter. Now, as a 23 year old female, I’d like to take this moment to say something to Sam that she may not hear any where else.
    Sam,
    I know your Mom might seem a little unfair sometimes and the the thought of moving out on your own is thrilling. It’s an adventure, trust me. But your mom really does know best. Mark my words, in the future you’ll find yourself turning to your mother for advise more often than you might think. And I’m not going to deny that being on your own is great, but sometimes the only thing that can heal a wound is a hug from Mom. πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday kiddo.

  40. Happy Birthday!
    Also, it is completely awesome that you wrote to a knitter on the plane, and there she is in your comments. Made my whole day.

  41. Happy Birthday Sam!! Great blog and pictures Stephanie! Hope you both enjoy this year of 15 yr old firsts and lasts. πŸ™‚ (it’s a great birthday month we share Sam….mine was Sunday)

  42. Happy Birthday Samantha. Enjoy your 15th, it’s a great year.
    And Stephanie, thank you for all the hard work – they’re all three of them lovely girls and I am inspired and no longer so very scared of raising kids on my own.

  43. Happy Birthday, Sam!
    Harlot? If you ever see me knitting on a plane – or anywhere – please, please say something to me! I will assume you are exhausted and tired of being mobbed and so be too afraid to say something to you, but I would be dying to.

  44. Happy Birthday Sam! Hope it’s a good one πŸ™‚ You are doing your mother proud.
    And another Thank You from me for the wonderful class on Saturday. I’ve had good classes, bad classes, and great classes. Yours ranks up there in the awesome category. Though I still can’t get my fingers to do what they are supposed to do.
    Can’t wait to get the drum carder out and card sideways. AND the other mind ‘splody thing I learned at Madrona, I can CUT longwool locks with scissors into 3″ lengths before spinning. *boggle*

  45. Happy Birthday, Sam! It only gets better from here on out. Good day for being born. Today is my birthday, too. (Your mom was part of a crowd who sang to me in the lobby of the hotel at Madrona last year.)
    Have a great day, and a great 16th year to come!

  46. and here I am about to start on my third, a girl after two boys and I am wondering if I ever knew or will know what I am doing!
    Happy Birthday, to you both!

  47. Sam: Happy birthday! Don’t let anyone convince you that teenagers are a nuisance and idiots. Though your mother is right: the mall is not a valid cultural experience.
    Steph: Happy Sam’s birthday! Just remember that you’ve recorded the “mall” comment for all of posterity and there may be some blackmail in it later when Sam is running the UN.
    Joe: My condolences at being demoted to the position of “some materials I found lying around the house.”

  48. Oh my word, Stephanie! That picture of your girls on the beach made me do a double take. Your daughter on the far right with the dark hair looks JUST LIKE my daughter right now. I seriously mean it. My husband thought it was her when I first showed it to her, and then so did my daughter, until she realized she had no idea who the other two people were! πŸ™‚
    What a lovely tribute to your daughter! Happy Birthday.

  49. You do have the most beautiful and brilliant children in the world. But only because you are bright and beautiful and you are able to recognize who your kids are and who they want to be.
    Happy Birthday, Sam!

  50. Happy Happy Birthday to a lovely young lady. ALL the very best for a GOOd year ahead Samantha. Thank you Stepanie for the great pictures, you all look great.

  51. I thought I was going to make it through the day just fine until I read your post. This is the last day I will be a the parent of a 15 year old. He is the youngest of my three boys. Tomorrow, we move on to 16. He’s been counting the days until he can get a learner’s permit. I know all those feelings associated with the last of this and that…He has grown into a fine young man as his brothers before him did!
    Happy Birthday to Sam! (and David!)

  52. Happy Birthday Sam!
    I understand about the last child bit…my youngest has just passed the age the next one up was when she was born. And we’ve been getting rid of baby things. Some days, it’s a little too much to handle. I can’t wait to be a grandma, but my oldest kid is only 8.

  53. Happy 15th Birthday, Sam! Maybe next year you’ll get a better result from the ‘mall conversation’.
    Stephanie, the hard part is watching them grow up AND getting used to the idea that they don’t need you (as much) anymore.
    Best wishes to you both.

  54. Happy Birthday Sam!
    Steph, I have to agree with Cara. If you ever see me knitting away in an airport (or airport bar for that matter) come over and say hi. I will by you a glass of wine or coffee depending on the time!

  55. Happy Birthday, Sam!
    Stephanie…does Joe like to be referred to as “some materials…[you]…found lying around the house?” πŸ™‚

  56. Hello! Happy birthday, Sam! And a lovely day to you too, Harlot. My youngest child, Michael, just became a grandfather 3 weeks ago. Do I feel old now!! He’s almost giddy about the little darlin’ – sweet Lilly had his heart without even opening her eyes! I now have 2 children, 2 grands, and a great. Felt another joint creak that day! – πŸ™‚
    Spent 2 fun days at the Mall of America Knit-Out last weekend. And learned from your publicist, as well as the gals at The Yarnery that you won’t be anywhere near Minnesota this year. Boo Hoo! But maybe you’ll have a bit of a chance to relax at home for a while and knit in comfort with a favorite beverage……
    “Some materials I found lying around the house…” – Love it!!

  57. Great, now I’m bawling.
    Note #1…please tell me that’s a bathrobe in the “just had a baby” picture, because it sure looks like a blazer. If it is a blazer, you’re giving the whole “have a baby at home and continue working from there too” thing a real bad name.
    Note #2…and I’m not brown-nosing here at all, but seriously, you look about 15 in that picture. Perhaps it’s the bathrobe/blazer.
    Note #3…how is it you can be so sentimental and smack the crap (verbally) out of a person at the same time?…you’re goooooooood.
    Note #4…I sort of know what you mean about the 3rd, except I have 3 boys, and I thought about the 3rd one, alrighty then, this’ll be a breeze…the other 2 have already done everything, right? It was the 3rd boy who at about 18 months old, climbed the drop-down ladder stairs to the attic where Daddy and I had been tossing things down to each other and decided that’d be fun too. It was seriously one of those “gimme’s” that he didn’t tumble down and kill or maim himself. When I remember those pointy spring things I shudder. That was at 18 months. He’s gotten worse. He’s made it to 5 now. And I color my hair.
    And on most days, I still want one more…

  58. I know what you mean about seeing those milestones pass, and I’ve only reached the 15 MONTH stage with my third child (and only girl). Happy birthday to your beautiful baby, and congratulations to you. We can all see in those bright shining faces what a warm and loving home your girls must come from. Good job mom!

  59. My husband’s tradition is for the birthday child to take the MOTHER out for dinner; so I’d say you are owed a few dinners my dear!
    Happy Birthday Sam…I think about your hat and mitten observation often; you are a quick one!
    O.K. moving on to ‘being too shy’…
    Hand made socks should ALWAYS be acknowledged and complimented; especially if you have the same kit waiting for you at home!
    If I’ve read it right, you also didn’t talk with another knitter sitting beside you?
    Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie.
    Knitting is what brings us all together. One of the most important things I’ve learned over the past few years…besides you never know what the future holds is…
    LIFE IS SHORT; JUMP IN!!!!
    Don’t hold back, don’t miss an opportunity to share everything you know about knitting (and life) and to find out everything another knitter may know…about something you plan to make as well! Who knows, maybe the knitter can save you some kind of headache having already gone through the trials and tribulations of the kit?!
    Really, what’s the worst that can happen? She may not know who the Yarn Harlot is (it’s just a matter of time though), but if she’s a knitter…well there’s a story…there’s always a story.
    As Sam enters her 15th year, maybe you can set a goal to talk to 15 strangers that last year you would’ve been too shy to talk to. You’ve raised three daughters…surely you can say to somebody, “I like your socks.” They’ll take it from there, or they won’t; either way you’ve grown and sent some good vibes out to the universe.
    (If 15 is a little extreme…maybe an even dozen; you know 1 per month?)

  60. Happy Birthday to Sam. I’ve had that same “this is the last time. . .” feeling with my younger daughter. And now she’s having it with her daughter (& 3rd child.) I think there will be tears all around when Baby M starts preschool this fall. Were they the STR kit for January your seat mate was knitting?

  61. Stephanie – I don’t know why your writing is not in the mainstream. It is beautiful and funny and bittersweet all at the same time. You touch all of us, Mums or not.
    My last teenager will be 15 in 12 days. I only have the two and they are opposite sexes and temperaments so they really have been two “tester” children in many ways. My first one will be 18 in July (OH MY GOD). My first one is female and generally an ‘easier’ child than her brother. HE we will all see filibustering in the Houses of Congress one day…he can hold one verbally hostage for a very long time. Though this one was a boy, I remember much of the same feelings you have had about “I can do this”…and much of the same “God said “HA!” moments. I thought it would be easier. Most of it has been just as much of a learning experience as number one. Sometimes more so.
    Thank you for the reminder that this too shall pass…and that this too shall pass too quickly.

  62. Your daughter has a great birthday – it’s mine as well! Happy birthday to a 15 year old from a newly 30 year old.

  63. Happy birthday, Sam!
    It was very hard when my youngest of four turned 20 last March. I would never have a teenager again. Teens keep you on your toes and challenge you in a way that keeps a parent emotionally honest and self-searching, and I like having them around. As the kids get older, though, it simply becomes even more joyful because you get to see whom they’ve chosen to be and where that’s taking them.

  64. To Lynn, who suggested the personal challenge of 15 out-of-your-comfort zone experiences this year…BRAVO! What a fabulous way to honor our personal growth as mothers/women. Maybe this could be a new tradition. Thank you for the inspiration.

  65. Happy Birthday, Sam! You just get prettier every time I see your picture and it sounds like you get smarter too, from what your mom wrote. I commend you on a brilliant combination.

  66. What a beautiful tribute to your daughter. Very touching.
    I also have to note that I started reading your blog this past December, and it is truly one of the highlights of my week. So well written, and with such frank openness. Thank you for continuing to write.

  67. OH boy do I get it. When I brought my youngest home from the hospital I thought I had a handle on raising children. SHE thought otherwise.
    Happy birthday to you and Sam, and may there be many more.

  68. Your birthday posts to your daughters never, ever fail to make me cry. Happy birthday, Sam. You may not realize how very lucky you are to have been dealt the hand you have (or maybe you are), but just in case: you have an amazing, wonderful mum. Treasure her and your dad and your sisters always.

  69. I love the way that you write, it is so poetic to hear you talk about your daughters. I wish I was so eloquent, my son will be 13 and I feel sad. He is growing up and I am not ready for that! Arrgh.
    Anyways, love what you had to say!

  70. I have three children too and last week I packed up the 0-3 month clothing for the last time (crying a little but still happy). Reading this post was so comforting to me as these lasts are wonderful in their own way. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished with your children I hope you see all their dreams come true.

  71. Samantha ~ Happy Birthday. 15 is a great year! I hope you enjoy it (and allow your mother to enjoy it with you).
    Stephanie ~ I bet that bead-knitting sock lady would have loved, loved, loved to talk to you. I know I would have! Oh well, eat lots of cake and work tomorrow. Some things can wait.

  72. What a lovely tribute to your baby girl. Happy birthday, Sam.
    Could those socks being knit next to you have been the RSC Jan. 09 kit?

  73. What a sweet post. You captured the back and forth of motherhood so well.
    I have been buying your books lately and laughing my knitting behind off! Thank you for articulating these things for me, and for non-knitters. It makes life funnier.

  74. Happy Birthday, Sam!!
    What a great post about your youngest daughter! My Mom was lucky just to have one girl, me, and I’m sure she is glad she didn’t have more like me because I know I’ve made her life difficult at times (taught her a lot).
    Must be the January Rockin’ Sock? I’ve barely begun mine even though I love the pattern, the yarn, and the beads. (Got sidetracked by the Feb Lady Sweater and a pair of Leyburns.)

  75. Happy, happy Birthday, Samantha! (You and your sisters will have to share with us all, someday, how you feel about these public tributes. Personally, I think they are awesome, and I hope you do, too.)
    And, Stephanie? “Some materials I found lying around the house” is really not a pretty picture, if you know what I mean. Hilarious, though. πŸ™‚

  76. I know that you probably picked the pictures that you loved and that takes some of the randomness about it away. but the one thing I noticed about all the photos of your girls is their brilliant smiles. You should take some credit for that.

  77. Happy birthday, Sam! And Stephanie, congratulations on bringing another amazing daughter along to her fifteenth birthday; I definitely think that moms deserve at least a little toast on each of their children’s birthdays (self-serving? I don’t know, I just think that it’s a good idea) — raising a child is certainly the ultimate joint venture for all involved. I love the pictures of your girls together, too. (Also, which sock kit? Inquiring minds, and all that.)

  78. Many happy returns of the day, Sam! Stephanie, congratulations on achieving the 15 year mark (not to mention, daughter #3!) without becoming completely insane, LOL! and feeling the joy that comes along with the aggravation. Hey–how would we properly appreciate our daughters, if they were perfect little angels all the time? and how boring would THAT be…

  79. Your daughter and I have the same birthday. I hope she’s having a great day too. I finished my beaded socks to wear on my birthday and am enjoying them now and wearing them to show off at Knit Night and then out to dinner with my husband.

  80. Facebook isn’t so bad– as long you make sure that you’re on it too and you become your kids “facebook friend” because then you can “facebook stalk” them and know if they’re saying fresh words or appear in fresh pictures….
    My mom is friends with me (30) and my brothers (17, 19, 21) My brother’s profiles have become MUCH more respectable lately…

  81. Happy Birthday Sam! You are a lucky girl!
    can I just say that if I was knitting on a plane and you observed me and didn’t say hello, or nice socks, I’d be crushed!

  82. I had my daughter at home 29 years ago, and it was an unforgettable experience. The memories your post brought up are joyous and bittersweet. Thank you for reminding your readers how much our daughters (and sons) mean to us. Happy, happy birthday to Sam!

  83. Today is my baby’s birthday, too. He turned 6 today. And while he is still far from 15, I feel like he’s turning into a Big Kid. Lately he’s been getting a lot taller and he is speaking very clearly now. And he has learned to read. All traces of “babyness” have vanished.
    So I understand your comtemplations–I am having them today as well. Have a fun celebration!

  84. Happy birthday, Sam! Be happy, brilliant and compassionate.
    Why is it that you always get the most amazing pictures when you have kids rolling around in a pile of leaves? I’ve got a great one of fabulous niece and nephew in my own collection.
    So nice to read a mum writing about a fabulous teenager.

  85. I’ve been trying to catch up on the posts – as in, going back to the very beginning and starting there – and I’m about up to May of 2005, I think. A long way to go, anyway. But I had to stop and read this one. I just love the posts about birthdays. I’ve been through more than a year of posts, so I’ve seen birthday tributes to Ken (hubbahubba), Joe (wow, what a keeper that guy is!) and all three girls. They invariably make me weepy, in a wonderful way. Stephanie, your obvious enjoyment of your family is one of the things that makes this blog so wonderful to read. Thanks!

  86. Wishing you a very happy birthday, Sam!
    And Stephanie? You’ve raised three very self assured, confident and lovely daughters to their mid-teens and beyond. I think you deserve a day of cake and knitting to celebrate that.

  87. Happy birthday, Sam! My third child will be 15 march 2….It’s been quite a ride…I know what you mean about all of it! I have one more to go..so don’t feel so sad/nostalgic about the birthday. You will always have your memories! What a lovely blog for Sam…she will surely appreciate it ( if not now…later!) Thanks for sharing your family with us.

  88. Er, I’m thinking that the “materials found lying around the house” that Steph refers to are things like food, vitamins, water? (Am also thinking that since the girls call Joe, er, “Joe,” that Joe may not have been the particular human materials in question?)
    Either way. Dearest Harlot, please tell Sam how lucky she is to have a mom like you. My mom’s not the type to write or say anything like you did, and “letters” like this one are precious! And I love the way you focus on everything but looks in this too-beautiful young lady. Girls so need to hear that, but they all too often just get pretty-comments first or only.

  89. Oh, Steph, I read this just as I was sitting down to start my younger daughter Madrigal’s birthday post — she turns eleven today (she shares Sam’s birthday). I am still in post-Madrona re-entry phenomenon and also sleep deprivation, and today’s post will not aspire to eloquence. Which yours achieved. Thank you.
    Happy birthday, Sam, and happy birth day to you, Stephanie.

  90. Happy Birthday Sam, and Congratulations Stephanie, for making it this far without killing yourself or any of your children. That’s an accomplishment. Go have yourself a drink to celebrate.
    But the woman on the plane? Steph, you’re the Yarn Harlot. Talk to everyone. Srsly. If I ever see you on a plane, I’m going to be very obnoxious and talk to you incessantly about your knitting. Knitting is above shyness. You’re not trying to get to know another woman, you want to get to know her socks, and that’s totally different.

  91. i’m so glad to hear i’m not the only mom getting all nostalgic for 1994. sigh. my own firstborn, infant son also turns 15 this year….

  92. Um, wait. You were on your way back from Madrona? After three days of planning Sock Summit? I take it back. I’m just amazed your eyes focused enough to recognize that it WAS a sock.

  93. That’s really sweet.
    I had some pretty fierce rows with my Mom when I was 14 (about some admittedly stupid things), but it all ironed out in the end.
    And I’m with you. I spent a subway ride into Boston just the other day with myself and another woman knitting and we’d both look at each other shyly and at each other’s knitting and go back to working on ours. Sometimes I think it is shyness, but the rest of the time I just think that public transit (or the more expensive plane/train transit) is just not the best place to open up a conversation.

  94. Happy, Happy Birthday to both of you. Sam, it just keeps getting better. Stephanie…you inspire me to be a better mother and a better knitter. That’s the most powerful combination I can think of.

  95. “I can’t believe that this sort of incredible creature could have been made by me and some materials I found lying around the house”
    I’ve laughed at loads of things you’ve written, but that was brilliant! I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time – and I needed it today!
    Have a great Birthday Sam!

  96. When our daughters were at home I put this quote on their bedroom door, can’t remember the name of the author.
    “Being bright doesn’t grant an exemption from doing idiotic things – more like it just enlarges the possible scope!”

  97. Wow – your Sam could be my Amy. She turned 19 yesterday in Quebec, by herself, meaning no family – lots of friends though, and I’m told they ‘had a time’. I think I’ve actually tried to tear my lips off on several occasions over the years.

  98. Happy Birthday Sam! Just a thought…take alot of photos, because someday when you are feeling nostalgic for your wonderful memories of being 15 and how you wish you could revisit your carefree the-world-is-my-oyster-i-feel-so-secure-because-my-family-is-here-and-they-love-me life, you’ll have lots of pictures to look at..I wish I had taken more. Oh-and a journal isn’t a bad idea.. just remember that everyone who is within reach of it will try to read it.

  99. Oh, Steph. Your birthday posts for your daughters always wind up turning me into a weepy mess. I hope that, when I am staring down the barrel of 15 year old boy (two of ’em!!) that I can be as poignant and profound as you are.
    And Sam, happy birthday! I hope you get lots of cake. πŸ™‚

  100. Isn’t she lovely, too! A wonderful tribute you wrote to her, and one that says as much about the writer as its subject. I especially appreciate the insight into the mother-daughter relationship as I am expecting a baby girl in May. I’m a little terrified, actually.
    Happy birthday, Sam!

  101. Happy Birthday to Sam!!
    To you….. don’t worry about lasts…. when you think it’s all over here comes the Grandkids!! You get to go at it again and this time you get to send them home to the kids that gave you so much grief and joy!!!
    πŸ˜€ Carla

  102. Happy Birthday Sam! I hope you have a wonderful day, and that things go perfectly for you this year.
    And Mom? Relax and enjoy this upcoming year. Not meaning to scare you, but next year? It’s the driving year. My friends with children of that ‘sixteen-age’ tell me they’re going gray from the driving lessons.

  103. what a lovely post to your daughter .. although if it were mine one would be squirming in horror and the other would be saying “see you acknowledge my awesomeness, now let me go to the mall”. I imagine, however, that Sam is accepting it with grace and style befitting your child.
    I do agree on the youngest always being the surprise, mine certainly is.
    Happy Birthday Sam, be glad to be who and where you are right now because it’s a wonderful place to be.

  104. You are such an inspiring mom. I wish that I could put into words the love I have for my sons as equisitly as you do. I hope that your daughters can see what a treasure you are now and not wait until they are adults, dealing with their own children.

  105. Happy B’day, Sam! I make so bold as to say – the Blog loves you, and your family. Personally, I am grateful to you, your sisters, and your mum for sharing your living and learning with us. Blessings, joy, and happy days!

  106. What a wonderful tribute to your daughter; I feel so much the same way with my girls, but lack the eloquent words. I plan on communicating these feelings more frequently.
    Happy Birthday 15 year old!

  107. Happy Birthday, Sam! Stephanie, Happy Sam’s Birthday! (Seems to me it’s a rockin’ holiday for the both of you. And Joe too. Joe, Happy Sam’s Birthday!)

  108. What a great birthday letter to Sam. With a 31 yr old and a 28 yr old(both daughters), I know what else might be in store, so keep those sweet thoughts close by. I saw you at Madrona as I was coming out of mkt. Sat. I told my husband, “you won’t believe who I saw!” He wasn’t as thrilled as me, but did appreciate my happiness.

  109. Happy birthday Sam!!! Save facebook for when you go to university or your senior year of high school, because the seniors that are off to college and those in college like to mock the younger high school-ers that are on facebook. Just so you know.

  110. February 17th is a special day for special people. It’s my late mother’s birthday, too. Your tribute to Sam is powerful. Happy Birthday to her!

  111. What a sweet birthday greeting to a daughter! Sometimes I believe that if we could all be a bit like you, Steph, this world would have more light and joy in it.

  112. a very tearful post, happy birthday Sam
    BUT………………….
    YOU DIDN’T KINNEAR THE SOCKS???????

  113. While I enjoy your posts every day, I think I enjoy these birthday posts especially. Happy birthday Sam!

  114. A happy birthday! My baby was also born at home in 1994. Such special people, those teen babies. Mine manages to be both fiercely independent and completely helpless as the mood strikes him. It’s all joy.

  115. What a lovely tribute to your daughter and about motherhood. It sounded a lot like my speeches to my daughters on the occasion of their Bat Mitzvahs at 13. If you are anything like me, you cried when you re-read your post….each time.

  116. Happy 15th B-day Sam!
    Congratulations Steph on shepherding a third daughter firmly into teen-hood.
    oooh…..bead knitting on a plane……that woman is BRAVE!

  117. Happy Birthday Sam.
    How cool that the lady on the plane recognized you. I would have been too intimidated to knit in your presence.
    My son’s diploma came in the mail today. It was a struggle but he persevered and now has a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Not such a wonderful item in Michigan but a wonderful thing to me. So is he.

  118. Happy birthday Sam! My 3rd is also teaching me I didn’t know as much about being a mom as I thought I did! However she is 2 and half…

  119. Reading me makes me think of all of the firsts Sam still has yet to come as well. Every last is someone else’s first…. Happy birthday!

  120. Hey, I have one of those but she turned 15 in November. She tries my very soul and then makes my heart sing. It gets pretty noisy around here!

  121. Happy B-day Sam!
    I felt the same way about my 3rd child.I thought this one is a piece of cake.Ha!She has Aspberger’s Syndrome and is anything BUT easy.But I wouldn’t trade her for the world.
    You are shy????

  122. I felt the same way about my last child who was also my third. Every milestone was the last time I would be doing this or that. I was never sad. It was just hard to believe that it would be the last time. By the way, she is 25 now and what a dear.

  123. Happy Birthday, Sam! Congrats on making it to 15 (if your 14th year was anything like mine you deserve it!)
    Stephanie, you are one of the few (& by few I mean potentially one more than you) people on the planet who has actually made me think (for a BRIEF nano-second) that I might want to parent a child of my own…

  124. Happy Birthday Sam and Stephanie! I always feel like since I did the bulk of the work that day that I should be included in the birthday wishes!
    My baby’s birthday is also today, he turned 5…and it was bittersweet. I totally relate to your “last time” feelings.

  125. cool having baby at home! My mother did my little brother at her parent’s home (they’re both Dr. and RN, so that helped) I have two daughters, 12 and 14, so I know how it feels. Love, frustration, everything! Wait until they decide to get married! LOL

  126. I love reading what you write about your girls. You really see who they are and it’s a real privilege to be in on a little glimpse of that. Here’s hoping it’s a great 15th birthday.

  127. Happy Birthday, Sam! I remember 15 as being a great age! (And, Steph, I laughed out loud when I read that you were too shy to speak to the knitting woman. I wonder if she recognized you and was too shy to say hi to you?)

  128. What Mim Bird said.
    Beautiful girl, happiest of birthdays. To mum, many, many happy returns of the day, too.
    Cue the showtunes, “…Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset…”

  129. Happy Birthday to your youngest!
    I’m expecting my third child in May. and it’s our first daughter. It’s nice to remember that all children are unique and make us think and learn new things as we are the parents.
    p.s. i love the pictures of your girls.

  130. I love hearing your knitting tales, but my favorite posts are the birthday tributes to your girls…oh, so heartwarming. Thank you!

  131. First off – Happy Birthday Sam. You should feel so lucky your mom has written such a beautiful tribute to you. It’s something to cherish always.
    Second – If I were that lady sitting next you on the plane, and found out later you were too shy(?) to say something – I’d have been very disappointed in not knowing I had the privilege to be sitting next to the Yarn Harlot. Of course, I hope I would have recognized you. And. Since when are you shy?? That’s not the impression I get from reading your blog. Next time, you really should say something. Just sayin’….

  132. Happy Birthday, Sam! My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow and she is turning six…it won’t be long before she will be 15 too. I hope you have loads of fun today.

  133. What a beautiful and poignant post. I hope to have the words for my 3 boys as they grow, the way you do for your 3 girls.
    And I love the pic of the girls at the beach — they all look just like you in that shot! πŸ™‚

  134. I love the bit about the home birth. I have three boys and the third was born at home and it was the best of them all. I also felt pretty relaxed, having been through it twice before with the older two. But yes, they are all different, and you can’t get too complacent!

  135. Happy Birthday Samantha! Congratulations on making it to 15 all in one piece. Hope you have a wonderful birthday. I don’t know what the driving age is there, but if you lived here I’d suggest that you should be VERY excited about turning 15, because in just 6 short months you would be driving (with supervision)! Just a little something extra for you and your mom to look forward to. (And yes, I did do my evil scientist laugh after typing that. Why do you ask?)
    Happy birthday again!

  136. I get a kick reading you are “too shy” to talk to someone about knitting. Talk about whiplash!

  137. Happy Birthday Sam! I am the oldest of three girls, also from Toronto. We fought like crazy when we were teenagers but now that we are all in our twenties and have moved out and away I miss them. Though not the clothes stealing.

  138. Stephanie, how refreshing to hear a mom talk about actually enjoying nearly all facets of raising a girl. She sounds like a true joy. I hope she realizes how lucky she is to have you.
    BTW, where are all of your curls in the first picture? Pray tell that you didn’t cut them off during pregnancy?! Nice that you’ve let them grow back over the years.

  139. Today I took my 15 year old and my 11 year old, both boys, to the pediatrician. It was a life-changing experience, and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same.
    I also think that this is about the time that the HUSBANDS should take the SONS to the pediatrician, and leave the moms at home to remember what it was like when they were wee ones.
    Congratulations to both of you … and Sam, have a wonderful birthday.

  140. Happy Birthday, Sam!!!
    Stephanie, Welcome home and enjoy the birthday dinner. (I’m right there with you on the whole Facebook issue, even more so since they changed their TOS.) πŸ™‚

  141. Happy Birthday, Sam. I hope you aren’t too embarrassed by a mom that would put all that about you on the web. I’m thankful MY mom didn’t know about the web when I was 15!
    I would be SOOOOO angry if I knew that you, Stephanie, had been on the plane next to me and you didn’t bring up your connections to knitting and books! I’m a shy-person-in-recovery, too, but as a celebrity, you have to let your light shine!

  142. Heartfelt congratulations to both of you. It is not easy to have a beautiful, brilliant daughter, just as it is not easy to have a beautiful, brilliant mother.. but the best things are never always “easy”, are they? Love to you and Sam…

  143. Oooohhh! I always get giddy when I hear that someone was born at home! I think it is one of the most wonderful things. πŸ™‚

  144. Happy belated birthday to Sam!
    I had a similar “go me” experience a year or so ago, when my youngest son was pressuring me to do something and my oldest leaned over the table and whispered to him, “You should just give it up. You are NEVER going to win this one.”
    I fed off that for a week.

  145. I so love the way you parent… From the decision to have a home birth to breastfeeding to acknowledging and respecting your lovely girls… and laughing lots in the process.
    Thank you… thank you…thank you…

  146. Happy birthday, Sam! I hope you are always able to appreciate how much you are loved because everyone who reads your mom’s writing certainly knows that!
    And I love the airplane knitting tale — you being to shy to speak to another knitter, and then that other knitter coming to the blog almost immediately since she had indeed recognized you but was giving you the gift of space. The serendipity of the internet strikes again. πŸ™‚

  147. Happy birthday and congratulations, I turn seventeen in one hour and forty minutes so my mom and I know the feeling because I am her youngest daughter too, however she has my younger brother so she will atleast have another 16 year old, just a boy.

  148. Oh my gosh, I nearly choked laughing: that’s the first time I have ever heard you refer to Joe as “some materials I found lying around the house”. The mental pictures and various options for hilarity…

  149. Happy (belated) birthday, Samantha!
    From what I can tell reading your Mum’s blog, you are a pretty cool kid and these days being cool doesn’t just mean being popular or having the latest techie gadgets or the latest fashion. I think my kids are kinda cool, they dance to the beat of their own drum and, like your Mum, I learn something new everyday about them and about me.
    The best thing anyone can tell any parent is how their children were raised well and proper.
    I think your Mum gets an A on this department, don’t you think?
    Beaded knitting? Would that be Queen of Beads? I haven’t even touched mine since receiving it. Don’t you owe me a tutorial on bead knitting? πŸ™‚

  150. Three points of business:
    1. Happy birthday Sam! 15 is kind of a weird age. Best to hunker down, grab hold of something solid, and attempt to have as much fun as possible & stay safe while letting all the weirdness wash over you like so much water on a duck’s back. Good times.
    2. If I ever found out that you saw me in an airport and didn’t come talk to me, I would be so furious! Have you considered the possibility that we all see you and are just being too polite to come harass you, figuring you would come talk to us if you wanted to talk?
    3. As an 18-year-old, let me reassure you that I am having the same argument with my mother about Facebook…except she wants a Facebook, and I would die horrified if she got one. So Sam, the argument you’re having is not so bad as you think. Imagine your Mum on Facebook.
    (P.S. All of us with Facebook secretly fear & respect people who don’t have Facebook.)

  151. You write a beautiful post about your love for your daughter and all I feel compelled to comment on is the shyness that prevented you from speaking to Manon on the plane. I was a high school and college debater, did considerable amateur acting, have given many public speeches and have been a trial lawyer (barrister to you) for over 30 years. My shyness does not bother me when I do those things, but at 61 I am as shy as I was as a child. You can’t cure it; you can only compensate for it. People don’t believe I am shy. The blog does not believe you are. But, I believe it. The thought of starting a conversation with a stranger makes me shudder.
    Now that you are famous the dynamic has changed. I live in the same neighborhood as Garrison Keillor, another famous and shy person. He shuns the neighborhood meet and greets, doesn’t talk to people on the street and is largely invisible in our very social neighborhood, though he owns a bookstore in its heart. People, wrongly, think he is a snob.
    My gentle advice to you is to force yourself to approach other knitters when you are feeling shy. They won’t approach you, because you are a celebrity. When you spoke in St. Paul last April, I was too shy to get in line and come up and speak to you. Others, like Manon, will not be shy, but will think you want your privacy or will think you are a snob.
    I know you can force yourself to do it, because I can. I wish I had that night last April because I would have loved to speak to you. When I do force myself I am almost always rewarded. I read Manon’s post. If you had approached her, after the initial spasm of shyness, you would have enjoyed her company.
    Don’t mean to preach. As they say, just sayin’

  152. Happy Birthday Sam, from another Amanda who’s youngest sister is named Samantha. (She and I get along brilliantly now that we’re both older, and not living in the same house.)

  153. Happy Birthday to Sam! Also, I have to say I understand your hesitation to approach this beaded sock knitter completely. You must know that being approached in public by the YH may have caused her to forget to breathe, thus causing her to pass out, losing count of her stitches and quite possible – dropping her beads. I commend your sound judgement. πŸ˜‰

  154. I feel compelled to make my first post today–on this, my birthday, too. (Happy Birthday, Sam!) I wasn’t the youngest, rather the oldest. I wish my mother had written such a message on my 15th birthday. You lucky dog, Sam. Thanks, Stephanie, for reminding me of the awesome power of mothering.

  155. You say it’s your birthday lalalalalalalala- it’s my birthday, tooooo.
    That sounds way better in my head than it reads. I barely remember being 15. Enjoy it, Sam.
    If I could, I would share some of the chocolate decadence cake my dear one made for me.
    Carol

  156. First, my (only!) daughter turned 12 a little over a month ago and your description of Sam had me bawling my eyes out. My Emma is a heartbreak of beautiful girl too.
    Second…are you kidding me??? There was a knitter, knitting socks (I’m guessing the new STR/NSK kit with beads), sitting right next to you and she didn’t recognize you????

  157. Isn’t it nice to have them grow up to be actual people? Mine aren’t quite there yet. (In fact, this morning I went from “No dear, you can’t play on mommy’s computer, mommy’s doing something.” to “WILL YOU SHUT UP, STOP WHINING ABOUT THE GAME AND STOP THROWING THINGS AT EACH OTHER IF I LET YOU WATCH TV?!” in less than an hour.)
    To get in touch with teenager reality, I signed up for volunteer work at a friday night youth cafΓ©. They told me I can knit there.

  158. quite possibly the nicest thing I have ever read about a teenager, ever. you are one lucky (and eloquent) lady, Harlot.

  159. I wish Sam not only a happy birthday but also a further exciting year of growing up!
    What a lovely post πŸ˜‰ My girls are now nearly 25, just 18 and 13 and I know just what you mean. I have enjoyed it immensely and am still doing so. I never cease to be amazed at how different 3 girls from the same gene mix can be, and yet, at the end of the day, they are sisters! Isn’t that wonderful?!!
    Knowing that the 13 year old is the last of my girls has been eased by the joy in my 7 mth old grandson and the confirmation that I did it right – as a very young single mom – with my eldest daughter, to my absolute and total incredulity. To see her carry on the not always orthodox approach in parenting that I had to work out for myself and to see what a success these offspring are in the world is quite something…
    I am simply humbled.
    Thanks.

  160. 1) Love the Harry Potter glasses you wore to give birth to Sam.
    2) You made me cry. You are the coolest mom EVER.
    3) Happy Birthday, Sam!!
    4) I cannot BELIEVE that you sat on a plane from Seattle to Toronto (several hours must have been involved) near someone who was knitting SOCKS with BEADS and you did not even SPEAK to her!
    !!!!!!
    That’s what knitters on planes are FOR, woman.

  161. Happy Birthday Sam!!!! I hope that you have a wonderful, exciting, year. Being 15 is so wonderful and so hard at the same time.
    Congratulations Stephanie. I think that whenever a teenager has a birthday that the parents should be congratulated too. I mean, you’ve made it another year without inflicting bodily harm upon said teenager, or just locking them up temporarily until they get a grip LOL! Even the really great kids cause moments so frustrating that you’re ready to tear your hair out. When my son was that age, he couldn’t decide if I was all knowing or a total idiot. For a while he just thought that I was so dense that I couldn’t get out of a wet paper bag. It’s so nice now that he realizes that I actually can get out of a wet paper bag and that maybe I am smarter and more experienced than he originally thought LOL! What a relief. I do love teenagers though. I think that their idealism and optimism are wonderful. What a great tribute to your daughter and just lovely pictures. Since I only have one child I know what you mean about the fact that everything is the last time. It definitely is bittersweet. I have to tell you that I can’t believe that you sat next to a knitter on a plane and didn’t say anything. The woman who speaks to hundreds of knitters at a pop with great humor and charm. If you were shy then you didn’t have to tell her who you were, you could have just said great socks. I’m sure that anyone who would knit beaded socks on a plane is a die hard serious knitter who is very brave, and very, very coordinated! I would never knit anything beaded on a plane because I would spill those beads all over the whole darn plane. Yep, I’m a serious klutz! So what kit was it?

  162. All the best people are born on Feb 17th. A belated happy birthday to Sam.
    Forgetting the brilliant/intelligent bit Sam sounds like I was as a kid and a teen – especially the teen! I was always told I was a typical Aquarian (don’t know if that’s true as am not in to that) but Ma always held that my teen self was due to my Aquarian nature……perhaps it’s cos she’s one too.
    Don’t be too shy to talk to people – I bet that women would have made up to have someone admire her sock – you would’ve made her day/week/month maybe even year. If you ever sit near me (unlikely) but if you do please speak πŸ™‚ I don’t bite…………………….much.

  163. Happy Birthday to Sam, and congrats to you. And Stephanie, what a lovely tribute to your young lady. I was “raised” by 2 lovely daughters (my babies are 39 and 34) and they were both challenging in their own ways. Sam is a beautiful young lady. enjoy every moment.
    ps – I would have been too shy before, but now will make an effort to speak to you if I’m ever sitting near you on a plane, or in an airport, or in a coffee shop, or…….

  164. Happy birthday to you Sam! I have 4 daughters, 27,25,23,and soon to be 21. It has been an incredible ride!

  165. Happy Birthday to Sam!
    I too am a Sam, a youngest child, and the victim of my older sister’s ‘advice’ about my mother. Let me tell you, it never works out. Half of the time my sister told me not to do something so that she could do it, and half the time she egged me on knowing that I would get in trouble. She knew the ropes- that doesn’t mean she was willing to share them with me necessarily.
    Being the youngest girl is awesome and now that my sister has two girls, I get to watch it from the outside, which is more pleasant.

  166. Happy Birthday Sam!
    As for the shy thing? I understand it because people refuse to believe that I’m shy. But one area I’ve learned to overcome shyness is in the knitting world. If I spot a knitter out in the wild I feel compelled to atleast ask what they’re making. And like many other readers of your blog here, if I ever recognize myself in one of your posts as someone you saw on a plain (or train or whatever) but felt too shy to speak to.. ooohboy will I be sad!

  167. Happy Birthday Sam! And congratulations to Mum Stephanie too!
    (I loved reading this post: getting into the age where IΒ΄m thinking about having kids – maybe I should have gotten there a bit earlier, but every person has her/his pace, right? – IΒ΄m relieved to know that no parent really knows what theyΒ΄re doing. Thanks for sharing!)
    (P.S. – lucky you, you can knit on planes!)

  168. Congratulations, Sam, and to you to, Sam’s Mom…though the 15-18 years weren’t all a cake walk with my daughter, we are best of friends now that she’s 24. Parenting daughters is the best and worst and most wonderful and difficult thing a person ever does…as you no doubt already know from your other two girls.
    And I just joined the Rockin Sock Club, can’t wait to get started on my kit when it hopefully comes this week. πŸ™‚
    I talk to all the knitters on the planes I work…so if a flight attendant that knits (but many of us do) says hello and asks what you’re working on, it might very well be me. πŸ™‚

  169. What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful young woman! How you’ve described Sam pretty much describes my youngest (24). Your daughter is going to be an awesome adult. She will go off and do things that will surprise you daily. Then you will see the fruits of your labor and realize yep, didn’t screw this up nearly as badly as I thought! Enjoy her NOW! you have precious few years left with her. I wish mine were still at home, close so I could hug and kiss the heck out of them. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM!

  170. Sigh. It is so good to know that I am not the only mother around who is having the same arguments with their 14 year old. My youngest DD will be 15 on March 9. Currently, she is grounded until she hits 25. And, according to her, we have made her a “social pariah.”
    She too has an older sister (who will be 23 in May), who generously offered her such lovely advice like “you really need to learn when to shut-up.” LOL.
    She is my youngest daughter, but not my youngest child. I have an 8 year old son. They say that boys are easier. We shall see.

  171. Congratulations to your entire family. They are all lovely.
    Sigh. It is so good to know that I am not the only mother around who is having the same arguments with their 14 year old. My youngest DD will be 15 on March 9. Currently, she is grounded until she hits 25. And, according to her, we have made her a “social pariah.”
    She too has an older sister (who will be 23 in May), who generously offered her such lovely advice like “you really need to learn when to shut-up.” LOL.
    She is my youngest daughter, but not my youngest child. I have an 8 year old son. They say that boys are easier. We shall see.

  172. What a wonderful tribute to your Samantha – I am quite choked up. I hope your daughters appreciate what a brilliant mother they have in you.

  173. I just read this post with my wonderful, brilliant two year old sitting next to me and somehow, while I was reading, I kept picturing her as a teenager. Thanks for giving me hope that throughout our adventures, I won’t totally screw up this beautiful gift I’ve been given!
    BTW, I’m totally scared to start the RSC beaded sock, the yarn is gorgeous as is the pattern, and it will continue to beautify my stash just a bit longer!

  174. That was wonderful! Thanks for sharing your birthday with us Sam! Happy 15th!!
    P.S. – just wondering what “the materials laying around the house” were…. he he he he (luv it)

  175. I, too, enjoyed your lovely tribute to Samantha on her birthday. It helped me relive that wistful feeling about everything involved with my youngest child, when I was sure she’d be the last one. She surely got to be a baby longer than the first one did!
    She learned lots of tricks from the older kids, but is much more adventurous and sociable than they are, and she’s always been a hard worker and an overachiever. I know you love and enjoy your youngest, and watching her become interesting adult is an adventure in itself.
    Cheers, Samantha, and happy birthday to you.

  176. Happy Birthday Sam! (a little belated)
    Steph, I know just what you mean about how bittersweet the youngest child is; my baby is 7, and I both love and hate every milestone she reaches, because I love what a beautiful girl she is growing into, and hate the fact that I won’t ever see that moment with another child of mine again. There are also nine years between the oldest and the youngest, so I know what I’m in for, lol!

  177. That was beautiful, Steph! Happy 15th Birthday to Sam!!
    And I hope if we’re ever near each other on a plane (and I’m knitting) that you’re not too shy to talk to me… and vice-versa. πŸ™‚

  178. Happy Birthday Sam! I hope year 15 is as wonderful and sweet as you are.
    Steph – you always make me cry when you write about your daughters. The love just pours out.

  179. I had just finished Anne Hanson’s blog entry about David knitting her the beautiful scarf when I checked for your latest… TEARS all around! I may have to go back to bed and play hookie from work…this is all TOOOOOOOOO much for me!!!
    Happy B-day, Sam!!!

  180. Happy Birthday, Sam. You are so lucky to have mom who thinks well enough of you to write about you in her blog and who knows you so well. You will appreciate that later, believe me.
    Stephanie, your post really got to me. It was profound, silly and loving. My 2 daughers are in their 30’s now and are still surprising me every day. You have a lot to look forward to. Your description of Sam reminds me of my own Sarah.
    Thank you for sharing. It was very touching.

  181. Good thing I wasn’t on THAT plane because I would have made sure everyone knew the Yarn Harlot was on our plane and aren’t we all so very lucky? (Then my cartwheeling down the aisle would probably cause the pilot to toss me off before take-off). I was on a different plane but left my beaded socks at home. Although they are pre-strung, it’s a different kind of pulling out some yarn and moving the beads…I would keep punching my seatmate.

  182. My daughter, Elizabeth, had her birthday yesterday but she is now over 30. Her present from us arrived exactly on the day and we spent lots of time on the phone together. Enjoy the birthdays you are actually together – no matter the age.
    Daughters are God’s way of showering us with love and surprises! Actually sons are too. I have lots of “stuff” but the very best part of my life is my adult children and their wonderful spouses. You have lots to look forward to in the years ahead.
    Nola

  183. Happy Birthday, Sam!
    (And don’t worry, Steph, in about eleventyten years, you’ll be a gramma trying not to snort too loudly when one or more of your daughters complains about her awful teenagers. I never had any actually of my own, but I’ve “borrowed” a few when hosting exchange students – I could put up with one year; I don’t know how my mom, or you, or any other mom can avoid teenagercide when it’s longer than that!)

  184. What a beautiful tribute to your daughter – you made me tear up! I have a 13 year old, who is, as most do, really challenging me. It’s easy to get tangled in that, but you reminded me to not lose sight of how very precious she is to me, and how grateful I am that she is in my life.
    Thanks Stephanie – for the beautiful words, and for the reawakening!

  185. Happy birthday to Sam & kudos to you for having her turn out as well as you say she has. I’m surprised that you’d be too shy to talk to a knitter near you on a plane. It’s funny how we just assume that the public persona we see on the blog & on the book tours is the same as the private one, even though we should know better. I’m still surprised, though!

  186. Happy Birthday, you look beautiful and strong!
    I had my daughter at home, it’s the gold standard, so amazing.
    PS. Harlot, sorry if I acted like you were Zimmermann’s ghost when I walked by you at Madrona. I know you are a normal person, I was just so shocked to see you as a commoner! You probably get tired of that…

  187. My youngest daughter, and number 3 child, turned 14 in January. I feel the same way about how everything she does will be for the last time as she is my caboose. She will be entering high school this fall and that’s the only school I’ll have for the next four years and then it’s over. When my oldest daughter entered high school I had HS, Jr. High (son), and elementary. Now, just HS. Kinda sad but I fully intend to enjoy it.

  188. You expressed your love for Sam eloquantly. My Samantha is my youngest and we have shared a similar experience to yours. She is only younger by 2 minutes than her twin but they are as different as sisters can be. They were 19 on the 6th. My oldest is 8 yrs. older and Sam has benefited from the training I got from her older sib. Thanks for sharing and happy birthday Sam.

  189. Awww, what sweet pics – Happy Birthday, Sam!!! I really enjoyed Madrona this year, but wow, experiencing a bit of brain overload. It’s still all sinking in. I practiced my lever knitting last night though… can’t wait to do a little time trial! I also talked to Judith about coming to speak at our local spinners guild meeting – I wish I could have taken one of her classes this year, but thankfully people who did have been generous with what they learned. This is one of the things that I love about the fiber arts community – most people are willing to share what they know with one another. You don’t have people elbowing each other, or scrambling over others to be the best. Being a person without a competitive bone in my body, this is not only refreshing but makes me feel like I’ve found my home.

  190. My daughter turned 14 on the 17th! And I have three girls and she too has a wicked sense of humor dripping with sarcasm. I just wish I could write a tribute such as that! (not that my child is horrid or anything – she’s a great kid – I just don’t have a blog!)

  191. Happy Birthday, Sam. I’m the youngest of three girls, too. It was definitely nice that they had already fought some of the battles for me – but I always managed to add a few of my own. But that’s been a few years since I’m the only one still on the low side of 50. I like being called the baby of the family now! Hope you enjoyed your day.

  192. What lovely ladies all of your daughters are, and how fine that their mother speaks of them with such incredible affection and pride.
    Happy Birthday, Sam!

  193. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sam!!! {rather belated – sorry!} My own beautiful, funny, sarcastic, witty and scarily smart dd just turned 16 – and I’m as proud of her as your mom is of you. And, no…she isn’t allowed to go to the mall for the cultural experience of it all, either πŸ™‚
    Isn’t growing up fun/hard/weird? Yeah, it is. I remember.

  194. Happy Birthday Sam. My own Sam was 7 yesterday and he’s very happy, funny, smart, witty and affectionate so I’m now totally convinced that 17th Feb Sams are the best!

  195. Happy Birthday Sam! 15 is fun! I can say that now that both daughters are through it….. Have a great year!

  196. My last child, #4, also born at home, clearly has one goal in life…to teach me that I don’t know everything about parenting! As I’m sure you know, he is meeting that goal admirably.
    Happy birthday, Sam!

  197. Happy Birthday, Samantha! I dearly hope you print out your mom’s lovely writing about you and save it always.
    And Stephanie, thanks for sharing your thoughts on your youngest. You’ve given me some perspective on parenting a teen that I needed badly. My youngest is an independent-minded 15 year old daughter. I thought I knew what to expect but ignored the fact her older siblings were boys! Thank you for making me realize these teen years are just different because they are standard for girls. (I guess it has been too long since my teen years to remember them clearly!)

  198. A very happy Birthday to Sam! I’m 50 something and I still remember being 15 and I loved it.
    Steph, it looks like you were still under the impression you could wrangle your curls 15 years ago???? I don’t know if I have ever told you how much I love your curly hair…. well I do! I have stick straight hair that resists curls.
    Enjoy your 15year old… she has a lot in store for you…

  199. Stephanie, Thank you for such a beautiful post. I, like you, like who my children are. Not all parents can say that of their children. Remember the simple things like the sound of their laugh, the unique mannerisms, the trials that lead to life lessons. They do go by so fast. Unfortunately, they sometimes come to end much sooner than we had anticipated. My 25 y/o son died from skin cancer in 2005. Miss his laugh, can’t really remember exactly what it sounded like, and the way he would come in and call my “Lady”. It was so nice to read your loving feelings toward you daughter. What a wonderful gift to give her, the knowledge that she is loved and appreciated for who she is. Cherish, cherish, cherish the good and hard times.

  200. Stephanie, reading these birthday notes I wish I would be someone close to you, so just once i would get one of these… They are so lovely.
    sam, i hope you had a great day, and I wish all the best!

  201. Happy birthday, Sam! Hold onto the ornery, it adds great spice to life! (But don’t worry your mother TOO much. That just results in lengthy phone calls with weeping and teeth gnashing and complicated promises around not doing something you’d never actually have done but now that she mentions it, it COULD be fun.)

  202. I just had to say how lovely and composed you look in the birthday photo with that new person you just brought into the world perched on your knee and your other little girlies gathered round.
    Most impressive. In the photos from the day I gave birth to my daughter I look like I was struck by lightening and am still blinded by the glare…mind you that’s OK too.
    All the best to you and your family

  203. They say we stand on the shoulders of those who go ahead. Sam’s got some big shoulders to stand on but sounds like she’s ready to meet the challenge. Happy birthday!

  204. Happy bday to Sam!!!!!
    Congratulations to you as well, Mme harlot for creating successful offspring. Not having any of my own, I have nary a clue as to how that woks.
    By the by, is anyone else still absolutely aback-taken by the “shy”ness? From a veritable celebrity, and among knitters, no less.

  205. I love to read stories about your daughters. Just wanted to tell you that they are beautiful girls and you are so lucky to have 3 amazing daughters. But you knew that, huh.

  206. What an elegant, loving tribute to your beautiful daughter. I am grateful to you for sharing your inspiration with knitting and your insights into life. You are an icon and a real living, breathing person who isn’t afraid to share her feelings and let all of us in your blog world get to know you and help us celebrate life. Thank you.

  207. Hmmm. I had 2 children, 4 1/2 years apart (they would’ve been 3 1/2 years apart had my thyroid not decided to poop out in the middle). My eldest is a girl; my youngest, not. Hard to have a ‘last time’ when you have only 2 repetitions and the children are as alike as Jekyll and Hyde — or in my case, as in Ms. Science Does It Perfectly vs. Mr. Male Dramatic Actor.
    That said, Happy Birthday, Sam! KNOW that yer mom loves you and is amazed by you, as all of us who are moms are amazed by our varied and challenging and delightful and loving and aggravating and knitting and non-knitting offspring. You are a GIFT — and we who are parents, Moms and Dads, know that well. Hugs to you. GO, Girl!

  208. Thank you! Right before I read your post I got into an argument (read “fight”) with my daughter about me questioning her whereabouts. She got her driver’s license about a month ago and I can’t seem to get past the wondering what she is really doing. She is an awesome person and I’m lucky to have her as a child. Reading your entry prompted me to go and explain to her my fear (she still acted like a snotty 16-year-old, but whatever…) and desire to protect her. Thank you again. And Happy Birthday to you both!!

  209. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM! Here’s to another 15.
    And Stephanie, it’s okay if you don’t talk to me on a plane because I can pretty much guarantee that if you sat down next to me I’d probably stop breathing for a bit anyway. (If that ever does happen, please pick up my knitting and continue on for me.)

  210. Happy Birthday to Samantha and congrats to you on surviving these past 15 year. 16 is going to be awesome, I promise. And yay for being born at home. My totally amazing, fabulous born-at-home daughter is now in school to become a homebirth midwife.

  211. Happy Birthday Sam! What a lovely tribute to a lovely daughter. I love the way you paint motherhood as both a challenge and a joy. Makes me feel better that you can not realy know what you’re doing and still end up with fab kid, AND not be afraid to say that it’s hard work.

  212. My favorite posts you write are the ones about your daughters, Stephanie. Something you wrote about Amanda, that many of her traits make a wonderful adult, if a challenging child, and we are adults for a lot longer than we are kids, helps me so much with my son. He is smart, funny, kind, honest ( a little too honest, at times–those white lies of politeness don’t really come naturally to him) and he seems to have to learn everything the *hard* way. He has a strongly developed sense of justice and fairness, and his head could be used to cut diamonds. But these are all excellent traits in an adult. πŸ™‚
    Sam, happy birthday! You sound like a wonderful teenager. Enjoy being 15, and don’t be in too much of a hurry to be 16–you only get 365 days to be 15, so enjoy every single one of them. (And see if there is some kind of poetry reading or performance at the mall, to slide it over into “cultural experience” territory. If there isn’t anything, maybe you can organize something. :-))
    One of the things I love about being a mom that no one told me is that the end result is a really awesome person who is so much fun to hang out with and to talk to, and who you’d absolutely love and be friends with regardless, only they’re your kid, so it increases the time you spend in the presence of awesomeness. Massive benefits! πŸ™‚

  213. I rarely comment, and I am always boggled that you could possibly have time or energy to read all the comments. That being said, your post was simply lovely. For all of us mothers who have the joy, privilege and heartache of watching our children grow up, you said it so well. Thanks for that! Oh, and happy birthday to your wonderful daughter !

  214. Beautiful post. Beautiful daughter!
    Happy Birthday Sam!
    (I have to admit to always rooting for Sam as she is the third and last child and so am I. Although I think my mother was too exhausted to get nostalgic about last childness).

  215. That was a lovely tribute to your beautiful daughter! I am also a mom to three, but only my youngest is a daughter, and only 9 months (and busily trying to eat up the world as I type this), so I have yet to experience the complex joy of parenting teenagers! Thank you so much for all you share of your life with the internet! I, for one, love these glimpses!

  216. 4 years ago, husband and I were having the very same thoughts. Our boy was turning 16, though, and we were high-fiving and giggling over how we were “almost there”.
    We were secure in the knowledge that my husband’s vasectomy had worked for 16 years.
    (Do you know what’s coming?)
    I wish I could attach a photo right here of our 3 year old.
    It’s so funny that I should read this today, because this morning husband and I were watching our two boys wrestling on the floor, and I said to him “remember when we got all smug and thought we were doing it all for the last time?”
    The moral of this story: don’t tempt fate.
    (And just in case I sound bitter: I’m not. We are having the time of our lives with this little boy who so unexpectedly came to be.)

  217. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. You both have obviously done a wonderful job teaching each other. Have a wonderful 16th year together.

  218. I just wanted to say that you are an amazing Mother and you inspire me. This reminded me of all the birthdays I had as a teenager and how my Mother always made them so special. When I grow up I want to be just like you and my Mama!

  219. Oh my goodness – your tribute to your daughter has left me in tears. I feel I don’t want my two girls to grow up anytime so (they are almost 10 and 7), although it appears it is happening lightning fast! Everything you described is exactly how I feel about my two, however I would never be able to put it into such amazing words.

  220. Happy Belated to you, Sam! BOY are you wise in the momma-selecting process…and none too shabby in the picking out of sisters or Da, for that matter. I can only imagine what life is like in Chez-Pearl-McPhee, and encourage you to store up the good times and bad, because they’re going to make the BEST stories when you’re old! Oh – and Mum? You’re fanTAStic! There’ll be wonderful Stephanie stories down through the ages, to be sure (passed along with all those beautiful knits into the tenth generation). See how clever you are? You made that beautiful child out of “some materials you found lying around the house”. Bet it was fun, too! Hooray on the lot o’ you, is what i say.

  221. Happy Birthday, Sam! Happy Birthing Day, Steph!
    While Sam may be the finest 15 yo girl on the planet, or perhaps the finest 15 yo in Canada, I gotta mention my 15 yo son (also homebirthed, btw) who amazes and inspires every hour of the day and night.

  222. Happy Birthday, Sam. You don’t know how wonderful it is to have a mother who can say such wonderful things about you.
    Stephanie, how wonderful you can put into words the inarticulate mumblings in my brain. Don’t ever worry about saying hi to someone. You are such a great person, even when benumbed or befogged by fatigue, whtever, it is a joy for people to talk with you. For me, it’s been an honor and a pleasure the few times I’ve talked with you. You are a genuiely wonderful person. Don’t listen to those nasty doubting voices. They lie.

  223. I’ve heard it said that when a first child’s pacifier falls on the floor, the parents will boil it until it is sterile. When a second child’s pacifier falls, it gets rinsed off, and if a third child’s pacifier falls, the loose bits are blown off before reinserting it. That little gem requires the same immune system, same degree of tolerance for untidiness, and the same stuff underfoot, though, doesn’t it? I guess life is not that simple or predictable.
    Happy Birthday, Sam, and many thanks for the perspective, Madame Harlot.

  224. Happy Birthday, to your daughter! My younger daughter daughter is going to be 17 in March! I don’t know where the time went.

  225. Good job, Sam, on finishing up the job your sisters started….what a great mum you’ve raised. Happy Birthday and have a lovely new year.

  226. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and love of your family. It’s refreshing to see someone talk about loving kindness and caring for friends and family. Happy Belated to your daughter.

  227. What a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I’m weeping as I type as it captures perfectly the emotions I’m feeling with both my youngest entering his teen years and my eldest starting the countdown to college. I love them fiercely and deeply and every single time I think of them on their own, out of the house, I cry. I’m intrigued by what the future holds for them, but I do wish time would slow down!

  228. Happy 15th Birthday to your daughter! I feel so blessed to have a daughter who grew into a beautiful young woman.
    I have knitted many thousands of miles on airplanes, but rarely does anyone ever speak to me about my knitting. Except once I dropped my ball of yarn and it rolled back under the seats and I was forced to talk to people so I could get my yarn back!!!

  229. I read this while nursing my daughter who is 16 weeks old tomorrow. May I feel the same way in 14 years’ time – I sure hope so.

  230. Hippo Birdie Two Ewes, Sam! (I’m prolonging the birthday-ness–celebrate as long as you can!)
    Stef–Your birthday posts to your daughters always make me cry (and you know how hard it is to make me cry). I hope that I can be as good a mom as you are.
    Okay–are you sure you just gave birth in that photo? Because you look amazing.

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