The Most Wonderful Present!

"Some one gave me a wonderful present/something I needed and yet never knew/so start the whistling and clapping cause under the wrapping was you!!!!!" --from the Jermome Lawrence Musical, Mame, based on the book "Auntie Mame" by Patrick Dennis

Twenty eight years ago today, July 28, 1983, at 12:35 pm in the afternoon, I received that most wonderful present:  Alexis Rose. Today we celebrate her!

And what better way to celebrate that with a memory...just one, I promise. And since this is what Lexi calls her "golden birthday" since she is turning 28 on the 28th, a "golden" combination, I'll share a memory that's pure gold:

"Rosie" as we called Alexis (because she was rosie pink and joyful), was not much of a talker. On her 2nd Christmas, Grandma Mary gave Lexi a Madame Alexander doll with brown hair and eyes that looked "just like her."  As 2 year olds faced with a mound of colorful wrapped gifts do, Lexi  unwrapped the doll and tossed her aside to reach for another gift. The doll let out a "Whaaaaah!" Lexi looked down, scooped up the doll and that was it. From then on Whiney Baby  was Lexi's baby

People often ask writers what inspires a story.  No surprise that the inspiration for every scene in my newest picture book came from memories of Lexi as a baby and growing up. What is suprising, and amazing, and incredible is that without ever talking with me, or seeing a photo of Lexi, David Walker so beautifully captured the little her in the illustrations for this book.

Happy Birthday, Alexis Rose. No matter how big you get, or how smart you get, or how oooooold you get, you will always be my baby!