Andrea, our brown-eyed girl

Doctors called her “Little Peanut” when they pulled her from the womb.

Not much has changed in 21 years. A few tacos shy of 100 pounds, she could pass for a girl entering high school, though she is soon to exit college.

In fact, most everything about Andrea Morgan screams small until you hear that voice.

Ah. Those chords.

I first heard my daughter sing before an audience at my sister’s wedding rehearsal six years ago. Performance-shy at the time but wanting to honor an aunt’s request, Andrea belted out Etta James’ time-honored At Last.

I cried.

That something so dynamic could emanate from a package so compact blew me away.

Such confidence has taken time.

A clingy infant who fought like hell to be near her mother, Andrea was bashful as a young girl. She used to stack figurines in a corner and shoo anyone who veered too close.

Music, however, slowly brought her out of her shell.

Around the house and in the car, she listened to Top 40 hits constantly and knew the lyrics from every contemporary song.

But as she began to learn more about the craft, her ear matured and her playlist grew, the voices she appreciated reaching back generations.

She channeled artists such as Dean Martin, Billie Holiday, Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra, taking mental note of what made each singer unique. Her interests crossed genres and we danced as she sang.

Andrea’s formal education is coming to a close. She graduates from college in a couple of weeks and — God willing — soon will be conducting her own choir as a teacher in Texas.

Our Little Peanut is standing on her own merits — and standing tall.





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