As an infant one of her favorite things was to have Daddy walk her and talk with her. She especially loved being read to. I preferred reading poetry. Bill thought that she would benefit greatly from the Wall Street Journal. There is a photo of a 6 week old Erica being held by Bill and he is reading an article from the Journal to her. He likes to think that this led to her being a voracious reader. I am not quite sure of that.
What I do know is that this daughter of mine has always been a planner with her eyes on other places and cultures to explore. Her love of travel seemed to blossom early. At three or four she was convinced that all you had to do in order to speak another language was to simply set foot on foreign soil. She was interested in languages early on and studied French, German, Spanish and a little Italian.
Erica has always tackled the task at hand with intensity. We often had to interrupt her "planning mode" before she got too carried away. Her favorite way to inform of her plans was at the dinner table. One evening as she sat by Bill and directly across from me she said, "Mom, for my six year old birthday on August the 25, 1983 (she really talked like that) you can buy me an Apple 2e computer and Dad, you can get me a Barbie." Bill and I composed ourselves and told her we would have to discuss it further. She got a camera and a Barbie.
Erica and my mother share the same middle name. They enjoyed a very special relationship. Erica loved visiting her grandparents and sharing special time with them. She and Mom especially loved time together when Erica graduated from Johns Hopkins and then when Erica and Geoff were married in Washington, DC. Mom delighted and sometimes with wonderment at Erica's travel and anchoring in the DC area. This picture of them was taken as they shared a few moments before Erica's wedding.
Bill and I as parents have been blessed with a child who caused very little ruckus or trouble but kept us on our toes nonetheless. She danced into our hearts and stayed there. She has become a beautiful woman with strong goals and aspirations--still a planner. She is a kind and loving person, a loyal friend, a responsible being, a genuinely good person. What more could a parent ask? I truly believe that God's gift to parents is adult children.
Here are Erica and Geoff toasting at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony. What a wonderful day that was. Together, they soar. Yes, Thursday's child still has far to go.
Happy Birthday, Erica!! We love you!! Here's to you!!