OFF the CUFF: Diapers to dreams: Where did the time go?

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By Cheryl Duncan, Assistant Editor

She appreciates my sense of humor.

She listens to my puns with anewed interest.

And she likes — yes, LIKES! — my singing.

I introduced Roane County News readers to my baby girl with those words the week I returned to work from maternity leave.

Scribbled on a yellow legal pad only hours after Amie was born, those words spilled on and on as I watched my tiny dark-haired creation slumber beside my bed.

I was in awe. She was so small. And my love for her was so enormous.

Today is the eve of Amie’s 21st birthday. And the massive love I felt for her in those first hours of motherhood has escalated many times over as she has grown into her own woman.

She’s fiercely independent, outspoken, opinionated, strong willed, brilliant and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

She’s beautiful, compassionate, kind, loving, witty and one of the most intelligent people I know.

She’s my best friend. My life’s joy.

And it never ceases to amaze me that I made her. Me. I DID THIS.

Pretty heady stuff.

Amie today is a junior physical anthropology major at East Tennessee State University. Dr. Bill Bass is her hero, and it’s her ambition to complete her studies at the facility he founded on the University of Tennessee campus.

She’s in the midst of preparing to travel to France for an archeology class this summer.

My baby. My little dark-haired angel. In Europe.

As for those first words of introduction back in 1993 ... well, they’re scarcely true today.

While Amie and I share a sense of humor, she groans at my puns. She’s even less enthusiastic about my singing — and she thinks my taste in music is horrendous.

Except for The Beatles. It took years, but she eventually grew to love and appreciate the Fab Four.

I’ll take my victories where I can get them.

Happy birthday, my darling girl. You’ve grown into an incredible woman.
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Cheryl Duncan is assistant editor of the Roane County News whose daughter is far better than she’s ever deserved. She is, indeed, richly blessed.