Number 10 Downing Street is one of the most precious jewels in Britain’s national heritage.

Ten years ago today, Meredith was tugged out of my spiral-sliced  and well-seasoned uterus. My fearless obstetrician lifted her into the air like a baby lion in a Disney film and announced, “Angela, this is a Buddha baby.” Weighing ten pounds (plus an ounce) at birth, Meredith never wore newborn clothes. When we were in the hospital, other (surprisingly bold) moms would bring their newborns into my room and lie them down next to Meredith for photos. (Seriously. That happened. More than once. Somewhere out there are several photos of fragile spider monkey babies placed next to my larger than life Meredith Claire. (Abbott and Costello will never NOT be funny, I suppose.))

The sad news? Our computer crashed about a year after Meredith was born and we lost her newborn photos. (Let’s never talk about this. Even typing the news nine years later makes something in my throat feel like a tennis ball.)

Although we don’t have baby photos, I have this photo which was taken on my due date. Meredith continued to simmer for five more days…

very pregnant

Meredith is smart. She challenges herself to read Mark Twain Award winning books and has been known to read the newspaper online.


She’s dedicated. In the past year, she ran three 5K races. THREE 5K RACES!


Meredith is compassionate. She speaks to Scout and Henry in a crazy high-pitched voice, and they think she’s the knees of the bees.


She is developing an incredible sense of style, and her love for the Homewrecker Burrito is unmatched.


I am having the greatest time watching Meredith find her way in this crazy world. She is the perfect blend of sensitive and angry and thoughtful and creative and witty. (She’s SO witty.) Yesterday afternoon, Harper received an American Girl doll for her birthday. As soon as the doll was out of the box, Meredith put her own face inside the box and pretended to be a creepy Just Like Me doll. She then encouraged Harper to act disappointed that the doll looks Just Like Meredith instead of Just Like Harper.

Harper's not very happy about her "Just Like Meredith" American Girl doll. Eighth birthday sadness.

Meredith is a great pianist. She can spell Deoxyribonucleic Acid. She stands her ground, yet she excels at making peace. She is a gem of the highest quality, and I can’t believe I’ve known her for ten years.

The world is lucky to have her in it, for she knows how to make Pavlova.

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22 thoughts on “Number 10 Downing Street is one of the most precious jewels in Britain’s national heritage.”

  1. happy happy to miss Meredith. the world needs more sensitive, angry, thoughtful, creative, witty women! I’m glad she’s here.

  2. Happy birthday!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that pic with the dogs – they look like they’re whooping it up to the best joke.

  3. Happy birthday to Meredith. I wish I had the opportunity to know her. She sounds fantastic. Congratulations to you and your husband. Obviously, you’ve done a great job.

  4. And she has purple tips and makes the most hilariously droll faces in photos! Oscar Wilde would be jealous.

  5. Another fabulous daughter. It would seem to some not fair at all that you would strike it so lucky with your beautiful and talented girls, but that’s not true. It’s not luck at all.

    The little things you choose to share with those of us who have never met your girls are an indication of just what a profoundly good mother you are — you love all the right things about them, and nurture those.

    Meredith seems to me to be very much like her mom, and that can be a challenge. But you two obviously will laugh your way through many, many things in the coming years.

    Her beauty and brains have impressed me as they have many others, but her wit makes her into someone truly special. She is such a fine young lady and good big sister and many more things, I expect to hear great things about her one day.

    In the meantime, I can be content with an occasional book review from this girl, and knowing that she is who she is. The world needs more like this.

    Happy Birthday, Meredith!

  6. Happy happy birthday, Meredith! From one (former) purple hair to another, you are rocking it, girl!

  7. I love everything that you put into this special post about Meredith. I love you and your special girls!

    Happy no longer being in the single digits, Meredith!!

  8. Happy double digits, MC!! I, too, weighed exactly 10 pounds 1 ounce at birth. And this is how I know you are destined for (more) greatness.

  9. Happy Birthday to your girl. My ten year old girl was 10 pounds (plus an ounce), too. The doctor called her a linebacker. He was kind of an ass.

    I love the raised arms in the running pic. Awesome.

  10. Your girls are so lucky to have you as their mother.
    Congratulations to you and your wonderful girls !!

  11. Happy Birthday to Meredith! You are a very lucky mom to have such awesome gals but I have a hunch you had something to do with that:)

  12. What a nice comment from Grammy!
    We are envious of your multi-American Girl household. (I tried to talk my grown daughter into the AG gymnastics gear for Christmas, but she’s past all that.)

  13. You know what? You should ask your obstetrics ward/OB-GYN if they have photos from other patients of Meredith next to the teeny babies. My midwife’s office used to post baby pics and keep them up there for ages, and it’s not impossible that there’s a random snapshot floating around…

    Because I got a tennis ball lump in my throat, too, when you said that. And I only have a few measly pictures of Otto, since we were shell-shocked by a really long delivery and he was whisked off toNICU when he was finally born. And yes, we have the kids to enjoy NOW, but it’s nice to have those pics of THEN.


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