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She is to life what mariachi is to music...

My daughter, Lindsay Chiero is to life what a Mariachi Band is to music: Colorful, festive, fun, a joie de vivre that always attracts a crowd and ….loud.

A few years ago when Lindsay was away at college, I was sitting in a restaurant and one of her middle school teachers walked in. Aware that middle school teachers can’t possibly remember every student (or parent) that crosses their teacher-dom, I introduced myself and... told him that I was Lindsay Chiero’s mother. He said “ I remember Lindsay. She’s REALLY loud.”

No offense taken. She is. In the most wonderful way.

When I took her to college she lined up with the other incoming freshman at Texas State to get her dorm key. In a welcoming gesture, the upper classman announced into a microphone the name of each newbie and the city from which they came. When Lindsay’s name was announced with a ‘Columbus, Ohio’ tag – there was great excitement because NO ONE came ALL THE WAY from Columbus, Ohio to go to Texas State. Lindsay stood on a chair and led her own cheer. Loud, in the most wonderful way. Loud in the way that says “I love life and I’m excited to invite you into mine.”

When I came to visit her at her new job at the Roundrock Express baseball team, I asked a security guard where I could find her office. Since she was a new employee, he told me that a Lindsay Chiero didn’t work there. Just then, I heard her laugh. Um. Yes, she does. Two floors up. And thank you, I found her. Loud in the way that I never have to look for her. I hear her first.

Loud in a way that she occasionally says things that are supposed to be heard only by her companions. And heads turn six tables away. Someone once said that Lindsay is her own Saturday Night Live skit. I so love that about her. I love the loud-ness that speaks with a brassy confidence that dares you not to like her.

Last month I visited her in Austin. I left my phone at a restaurant table and we went back minutes later to find it was gone. When the management showed no concern and blew off my minor emergency with a ”your-problem-is-not-our-problem-attitude” my 5’10” (did I mention loud?) daughter marched to the host stand and made it clear that this contingent of Chiero women was not leaving the premises until said I-Phone7 was located. They found it. I love that loud in her – the loud for the underdog, the unapologetic loyalty to the ones she loves.

How do you say Happy Birthday to a this brand of 26-year-old? You hire a Mariachi Band to surprise her at work, of course… because I need two violins, two trumpets, one Spanish guitar, one vihuela and one guitarrón to match the personality of this incredible young woman whom I proudly claim as my daughter.

Happy Birthday to my Lindsay, whose voice grows stronger with the confidence of age and whose noise will change lives – of that I’m certain.

On the 26th birthday of Lindsay Chiero, August 13, 2017

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