Growing up, my family always had a thing about number patterns, so it was always strange to me that none of my children particularly liked math.
Since they are "grown ups" now, I'll send off this year's birthday month with a set of numbers for Kate. My second child, born two days after Christmas, is now 22. She was followed in rapid succession by twins born on Dec. 11 (1+1=2) the next year, giving us four (2x2=4) in all.
Kate, justifiably, would probably look at me and say, "Dad, please stop doing the math. You know it makes my head hurt." And I would look back at her with a smile.
This is the type of relationship we have, bickering and picking at each other. It hasn't always been in fun or jest, but over the past couple of years, it has evolved into our definition of "us."
I greatly admire and respect the woman Kate has become. She has taken charge of her life, has a new home with two roommates and a job/career path she loves. What more could any parent want?
It all adds up to this: We love you, Katharine Alexandra Cook, and are very proud of you! Happy birthday!