¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Lauren de Mayo!

Lauren Date was born on this day 25 years ago. It was one of the two happiest days of my life (it’s a tie, Emily). It’s one of those crazy things that the human brain does with time that an event can seem like it was both another lifetime ago and 10 minutes ago simultaneously.

BabyDate and Mom - I find this picture sad and hilarious at the same time. It was the last skirt Lauren wore for about 20 years.

You have to admit, she was pretty darn cute.

Lauren was always a wonderful kid — probably the easiest kid to raise that anyone has ever had. We always worried that she was a little TOO conscientious, a little TOO quiet, a little TOO nice, a little TOO hard-working, sometimes a little too worried about everything. These are generally useful qualities to have as an adult. Lauren was just ahead of her time. The ironic thing is that she used to be a ham in front of a camera. She had (and still has) a wicked dry wit and a sneaky sense of humor. Her golden years of silly photos were during the early ’90s — elementary school days. She’d pose anywhere, any time — but, of course, only if we asked her to. Here are a few of the ones I like. Don’t worry — I’ve got plenty more for next year’s birthday blog.

We never spared any expense when it came to toys for Lauren. This was the X-Box of the late '80s.

OK, so I guess this one isn't funny. It was actually a very close call.

I think she might have peaked comedically during the Christmas of '92.

Now she's rollin'. You've got to take my word about the shy part.

By 5th Grade she had developed a more subtle, mature style.

Lauren has always been a beautiful person if every sense of the word. She amazes me with her thoughtful nature and her kindness toward others. She is shy, but pushes herself to be outgoing. She told me once something along the lines of, “nobody finds a really shy person interesting or attractive”. She’s always had a great interest in both music and the visual arts, and is learning how to express herself in that way. When she went off to college in Madison, Wisconsin in 2003, one of the first things this introvert did was get herself a radio show on the Campus station.

Lauren in Madrid (2005)

As a child, Lauren was kind of a homebody. She didn’t like leaving home — even to go on vacation. She tended toward the routine, predictable, and comfortable. Then she went away to college, and decided to spend her junior year in Spain. Immediately after graduation, she told us she want to move to Chicago — didn’t know anybody there, didn’t have a job — but off she went, and we’ve hardly seen her since. Now, she’s making her way in the big city. She has worked hard, made a ton of friends, and developed into the caring, smart, thoughtful, conscientious — and funny — adult that I hoped she would.

Lauren bowling last Christmas

I’m so lucky to be the dad of Lauren Date. To have a kid (yes, Emily, TWO kids) who grow up to become better people than you are is the ultimate wish of a parent. I smile whenever I think about it.

Watching little “BabyDate” develop into the adult she’s become has been an amazing experience for the past 25 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 25 bring.

I love you, Lauren. Happy Birthday.


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