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A novel by Len Joy

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Christie is 20

Our youngest child, Christie was born December 11, 1989. Somehow she managed to squeeze her birthday in between Stephen’s birthday on the 9th and Nicole’s birthday on the 14th. Appropriate, as she was usually the one in the middle – a sweet-dispositioned buffer between her sometimes contentious older siblings.

By the time Christie came to be I was a veteran at this baby stuff. I probably could have delivered her myself and if the nurses had ignored Suzanne’s claims that she was ready for a few more minutes, I would have. We were still in the labor room and they had to hustle us into the delivery room. It was the only one of the three pregnancies where the delivery doctor actually almost broke a sweat.

Christie was born a year after my brother-in-law Tom and I bought our engine reman business in Phoenix. Suzanne sometimes claims I was gone 300 days a year, but it was more like a hundred days, although I guess that would equate to three hundred kid-days per year. She also insists that I was never home when it snowed or the car broke down.

In those early years, when I was home, I worked out of an office in the basement. Christie would draw pictures on my discarded fax paper rolls. She promised me that she would never grow up, but I’m glad she did. She grew up to become a very talented artist and last year she went off to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn to study fashion. They gave her a half-tuition scholarship.

In high school Christie had done well in any class that held her interest and not so well in all the others. I knew she would do well at Pratt, and she did – she made the Dean’s list for her first year. But she wanted something different – something with more of an art focus.

So she is sitting out a year, working on her portfolio. Her Pratt professors have given her some recommendations – schools in London, California and even Chicago. I’m pulling for Chicago, but I know that it is more than likely that she will leave after this year. But for now she is back at home working at CVS and selling stuff in her ETSY store: Rotten Tapioca

She doesn’t drive yet (she went off to Pratt before we mastered the left turn) so I drive her to work and to visit her friends. Sometimes it seems like all her friends live on the other side of town and only want to visit at rush hour, but whenever I find myself getting annoyed I remind myself that soon she will be gone again and I will wish I could drive her somewhere.

Christie is twenty today. Our last teenager has left the building.

 Happy Birthday Christie!

Below are photographs of some of Christie's Portfolio:


Davin Malasarn said...

Whoa, I thought I had missed something when you posted on another child's birthday. I can't believe you had two kids in less than three days! That doesn't even seem possible!

(Yes, that's a joke.)

Christie's artwork is beautiful. I especially like the last three images.

Len said...

2 kids in 3 days is nothing. We had 3 kids in five days...