I've always been a bit of a lunatic. Even before I could crawl I'd scootch myself across the floor just to bite my mom's ankles.
When I was 3, I refused to join my mom and baby sister on a short walk around the corner to pick up my older sisters from school. Rather than drag me, my exhausted and pregnant mom said to stay right where I was and don't move--she'd be right back. She left, locking the door behind her. So I pushed the garage-door-opener button from my tippy-toes and went out that way to tell everyone passing that my mom had left me home alone.
At 4, I fought a boy at Bible School who pushed my younger sister on a swing when she didn't want him to. They stuck me in the middle of a tower of tires as punishment. I glared over the top.
When I was 9 I fell through the ceiling right above my parents' bed. I'd made a secret club-house in the attic and didn't know you weren't supposed to walk on sheet-rock. I was straddling a 2x4 when it collapsed. That was the first time I ever heard my mom swear.
When I was 11 my friends told me they didn't want to be my friends anymore.
When I was 13 I had horrible acne and spent school lunches hiding in a bathroom stall or reading in the library.
When I was 16 I was raped in my own bedroom while my parents were away.
When I was 17 I began an unhealthy relationship with a cheating boyfriend.
When I was twenty-one I met a special guy, named Pat.
We fell in love and got a dog.
When I was twenty-four, after much pondering and time apart to evaluate my priorities, I was smart enough to marry him. He's made me laugh and feel special every day since.
When I was 27 I lost my mom, slowly, to an autoimmune disease: Behcet's Syndrome. It was the most heartbreaking period of my life.
When I was 28, Pat and I went to Louisiana to help with animal rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina. It was life-altering.
When I was 30 I had my first baby boy. He looks and acts very much like me, but has his daddy's sense of humor.
When I was 32 I had my second baby boy. He looks like Pat, but has my tower-of-tires temperament. He's a firecracker with the occasional sputter of sweetness.
When I was 34 my debut YA novel was accepted for publication by "namelos". It will be released in 2012. A lifelong dream come true.
So that's me. I've survived, and I've been blessed.