Today is the birthday of a VERY SPECIAL MISS in the lives of mister & missus muse ….and, a very SPECIAL BIRTHDAY as well, for it’s Molly’s sixteenth. Yes, by golly, Miss Molly turns sweet sixteen today, and if I do say so, no sweeter girl has ever turned sixteen — and I do say so, because she has been part of our lives each and every one of those years. But little did we know this would be the case on June 5, 2000, when our next-door neighbor brought her into the world.

We had just moved into the neighborhood nine months before Miss Molly arrived. Not long thereafter, during a get-together at our house, Molly’s parents asked us a question. Our answer would turn out to lead to enriching the rest of our lives: they asked us if we would take care of Molly on weekdays while they were at work. Although retired, we had plenty to keep us busy….but we said yes, and the rest is her story. Before we knew it, she became the ‘grandchild’ we didn’t have, just as close and dear to us as if she were our own.

Those first pre-school years remain particularly cherishable (if that’s a new word, there’s no extra charge) as she grew from babyhood and toddlerhood into the little girl I played games (and yes, dolls) with for hours. What an old softy she made of me! On 3/17/04 we began keeping track of her height (3’5″ tall) on a basement wall; the last of many such lines on that wall is dated 3/16/15 (5’4″) — a mark, you might symbolically infer, of how she continued to grow on us as the years slipped by.

After she started school, she and her older brother were with us for only a few hours after school each day during the school year, but in summer, it was back to full-time grandparenting, including outings to parks, miniature golf, and other venues. Now, all of a sudden, her brother is on active duty in the military, she is taking driving lessons, and I’m a veteran of sizing up Happy 16th Birthday cards, seeking just the right one. Time flies when you’re having fun. 🙂

I would show pix of Miss Molly but, considering I haven’t told her I was writing this post, that’s not in the cards without her OK. So I hope that instead of a picture being worth a thousand words, in this instance only 421 words will be worth a picture….or perhaps (with love) just four words: