I Heart Indies

Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Spencer

I love this photo.
Today is my daughter Spencer's birthday.  We're giving her a ring.  Don't worry that the surprise will be spoiled; she already sent Nancy a helpful email link to let her know exactly what she wanted.
She was always that way, from birth if not before.  She takes after Nancy in that regard.  There is a saying, "As independent as a hog on ice" to describe especially determined, strong-willed people.  When people are stuck for a term to describe an especially determined, strong-willed hog on ice, they say, "That hog on ice is as independent as Nancy and Spencer Martin."
This is Spencer at Scottish Rite Hospital when she
had a bout with Cat Scratch Fever. This is a real illness,
not just a Ted Nugent song. Don't be fooled by her
smile; it was extremely serious. She was hospitalized
for days.  Her doctor talked about  writing up her case for The New England Journal.
For example, there's the time when she was very little - four or five in my recollection - that she got the keys to the car, went outside, and started the engine.  Fortunately, she was unable to reach the pedals, or we might never have seen her again.  She used to insist on dressing herself when she was very little, and sometimes went through as many as four or five costume changes in a day.  Nancy recalls Spencer's ensemble as being somewhat outre, but I recall she put together quite fetching combinations.  But then, you'd have to know how I dress.  Then came that Summer vacation in Destin Beach.  After watching with a studious frown as her older sister and I cavorted in the pool, she calmly walked to the deep end, and leaped in.  She had been to "swimming lessons" at the Y, but thus far had only progressed to the putting her face under water and blowing bubbles stage.  None of the witnesses at the pool doubted her ability to blow bubbles, in the bubble-blowing area she was at the top of the class, it was that as far as we knew, she had no idea how to actually swim.
Before we could dive in to rescue her, she bobbed to the surface, and slowly powered her way to the other side; when she reached the other side, she - with the same steady, fierce determination - powered her way back.  Every day on vacation, she did the same - stopping only to eat and sleep (I fear she didn't even stop to pee, but I've never had the nerve to inquire.)
When we bought a house with a pool, she raced me every day until she could beat me.  This did not take as long as I would have liked.  Recently, she got me to train for a triathalon sprint, and when I told her proudly I was swimming a quarter mile, she told me to increase it to a half.  I'm up to a half mile now, awaiting further instructions.
You don't disappoint someone like Spencer.
Happy birthday, darling.

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