Eighteen years ago on this morn
A baby girl was soon to be born
With soft brown curls and big blue eyes
She viewed the world as a big surprise…
From the beginning, Shyanne would only be with me. As a baby she would not let others hold her, would only stay tucked on my hip. She would hold my hand as she grew and would not want to leave my side (except to play with her brother, who was her hero from the get go). She was my little angel.
She was giggly and fun, talkative and smart. She had an almost exotic look about her with her dark, curly hair and big blue/green eyes. She began to say “I know” when folks would say how beautiful she was every day. I had to teach her to say thank you. Still, wherever we go, someone mentions how pretty she is.
She was never in trouble, not once as a child. She never went into time out. She was so particular and concerned about her behavior and how everyone would feel that she kept herself out of trouble. She even moved her desk next to her teacher’s to keep from chatting to her friends.
She was unusual in the sense that she wanted to have lunch with her teachers, hang out with adults. She was easy to talk to. Gracious. Polite.
I always called her Pumpkin but her dad calls her Cupcake. We were sitting in the hallway outside her first grade class waiting for a teacher/parent conference. The walls were lined with portrayals of the “Cat in the Hat”. Funny hand drawn cats in finger paint. Doug said about one, “It’s a cupcake!” Shyanne started laughing and said it wasn’t. Then a cloud of unreasonable silliness covered us all. “It’s a cupcake!” he repeated. “No, it’s not!” she squealed and tried to cover his mouth with her little hands. “…cupcake!” Another roar of laughter and her little fingers laced to keep him from saying the word again. Uncontrollable laughter filled the hall from our family. I am sure the conference before us wondered what on earth was happening. But, from that day, Shyanne became Cupcake.
Even as a small child, she had a gift for baking. As a pre-teen she spent hours in the kitchen baking up masterpieces sounding a bit like Gordon Ramsey from Hell’s Kitchen. The child can swear like a sailor. We didn’t dare venture into the kitchen. We were rewarded with confections of sugar and creativity.
Shyanne could sing from early on. She could bring down the house with her bluesy, soulful voice. It was hard to imagine that it came out of her tiny frame. We took the kids to bars that allowed children to sing karaoke. When we were homeschooling we said they were studying music and social problems. I miss those days! The kids will not sing for me now.
She was in the Miss pre-teen Colorado pageant. Our good friends, Steve and Beth, sponsored her along with the owner of one of the bars we took her to. She did not win but when she graced the stage, her arm linked with her dad’s, that big winning smile greeting the crowd, I could not help but beam with pride.
She and her brother were inseparable as children. Many photographs show them standing so close, their sides touched. Along with Emily, the children went on adventures in the open space behind our neighborhood, held Pirate School regularly, and enjoyed vacations that we took to the Caribbean, to Florida, and their favorites, Oakley, Kansas and Laramie, Wyoming.
After Andrew moved out, she began to date and all fears of not being in trouble were quickly dismissed. She started, and still does as she pleases.
She now works at the local tea shop and does a lot of the baking there. She is so charming and genuinely likes people and service that she is brilliant there. Decorating, setting tables, chatting, baking, this is indeed her cup of tea.
She graduated early, December 15th, from high school and is preparing to leave for college in the fall. I can scarcely believe our children are this big, but I cannot help but smile over the reminiscences.
Happy Birthday, Shyanne! I am thankful to be your mother.