Sunday, April 4, 2010
Exactly 21 years ago doctors were telling me I was not in labor, go back to sleep and wait for induction in the morning.
The baby was two weeks overdue and I was anxious to hold her.
But they were wrong. I was in labor, and the baby came so fast she caught everyone by surprise, especially her daddy who was running down the hospital corridor toward our delivery room when he heard a baby cry... his newborn daughter.
Katie has been surprising us ever since.
When she was three, she was that kid who'd take all her clothes off and dance on the picnic table at camp.
She chewed out Santa Claus, telling him he was too fat.
She helped unpack Christmas ornaments, held up a cherub ornament and called it a "kid butterfly with no clothes on."
I captured all these moments in cartoon cards I sent to my ailing grandpa. He died when Katie was four, and the family gave me the big box of cartoons I'd been sending him since Katie was a tiny infant. There it was, all of it: Katie's hilarious early childhood in cartoons.
I thought this meant I had a future in comic strips, but after two particularly heart-rending rejections I gave up and tried kids' books instead. That worked out better.
Maybe someday those letters to Grandpa will be a book.
I'd also like to do a book just on Katie. Here's one idea that hasn't panned out yet:
There will be more; Katie's a very colorful character.
For fans of Ellie McDoodle, Risa is absolutely Katie (right down to one of the surprises in book three, coming out in August, where Risa sneaks an evil pet into the house).
Happy Birthday, Katie!