Share some early memories of your daughter, Laura

I was fortunate to be in the delivery room for Laura’s birth and as soon as they do whatever with umbilical cords and after stuff, they wrapped her up and laid her in my arms.  My heart melted as my baby girl turned from a pale blue to a warm pink right in front of my eyes. Her tiny hands with fingers unbelievably small gripped my pinky finger and that grip went right to my heart.  I feel sorry for any father that misses the opportunity to experience this once-in-a-lifetime bonding moment.  

Like most babies, getting them to go to sleep is a daily routine and sometimes a struggle.  Laura liked to be rocked slowly and I would sing countless verses of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm“, thinking up new animals and what sounds they might make.  Whether I reproduced a proper version of an elephant’s roar or a snake’s hiss didn’t really much matter and after a dozen, or two, or three, she would drift off to sleep.

Laura was excellent at reading, spelling, and English in general.  Phonetics came easy to her and I remember walking through the Dayton Mall pushing her stroller and she would read store names and properly pronounce them.  I think she was two, maybe three, years old when she did that and I recall what an amazing feat that was.  I think perhaps part of that was not talking to her in baby talk and part was my somewhat annoying, but I believe proper, habit of correcting her every time she pronounced something incorrectly.  It’s better to learn something correctly right away than have to re-learn it later.

When Laura started grade school most subjects came easy to her.  Except for math.  She came home one day and told me she was not doing very well in math and that it didn’t make any sense.  We talked about it and it occurred to me that her other classes allowed her the benefit of prior experiences.  She had read before, spelled before, etc., and she had a basic understanding to build upon.  But nothing prior could help her understand why this number added to this number equaled that number.  I explained to her that none of her prior experiences were going to help and that this was all new.  She went to school with a different mindset and math became as easy as her other subjects.  

Laura was not my first choice for her name.  I wanted to name her Lara after Superman’s mother.  That didn’t fly at all.  I had a favorite aunt, my mother’s sister Loretta, and searched for names similar and came up with Laura.  Her mother never knew about the connection to my aunt, but liked the name.  Her mother selected Christine as her middle name.  I have no clue the background or significance of that.  Laura decided when she was about five years old or so to change her name to Laurie.  I don’t know why she wanted that, but that was fine.  I remember she told my mother, repeatedly, that her name was now Laurie.  It took a while, but she was persistent and Mom finally made the change.


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