Laura is fantastic and not just because she is my niece (maybe even despite her being my niece). She is bright, funny and completely cool.
As I have previously documented here, it is my fault that I missed parts of her youth. I do take some consolation in two road trips to New York. Seventeen hours in a cramped car with each other (and my sister/her mom) will really serve as a crash course in bonding. Oh sure, I grumbled, but I loved every minute of it (even when Nancy actually drove for a few minutes).
Laura is courageous and strong. She has done things I would have been too frightened to try at her age. Nothing bad, all good, but still too daunting for me to attempt. Yet, there she was. I was amazed, impressed and proud.
It's Laura's day today. I hope it is a great one. She deserves it!
Happy birthday Laura. Your uncle Crash loves you.
Laura Fitzpatrick in Fox River Grove, IL-Winter 2012.