You were perfect to me. I counted your toes and your fingers; I ran my fingers through your black hair; I marvelled at the fact that your joints were plugged together like a Mister Potato Head; and later, I wondered how someone so beautiful could be so unhappy . . . until I discovered that you were beset by colic.
In spite of colic, I had the joy of nursing you and seeing your eyes light up with mischevious smiles (as you obviously thought how wonderful it would be to just "bite" down instead of smiling so innocently), and the wonder of the stars of the universe as I walked you up and down the dirt road in front of our home in an effort to calm you into a sleep.
By 6 months, the colic was gone, and your demeanor had changed. All of a sudden you were a happy baby -- crawling after your big brother, standing on your head, and at 10 months singing all of the lyrics to "You Are My Sunshine."
Even after 20 years, you are still my sunshine.
When I was a young girl of 9, I took a small walk into the woods by myself. It was 1970, and the world was changing so radically. My friend Kathy was gone to church, and Jan had moved away to Columbus, GA. The Vietnam war raged, and the social world of the United States was at odds with itself.
It was just me, a beautiful sunshiney fall day, and the woods. As I walked through the piney woods, what I noticed was that the sun streamed through the pine-boughs and puddled on the woods-floor like water. In between the puddles were shadows. The shadows invited me to dance. In my dance with the woods, I realized that I was different than my friends somehow. I connected with the world as it was then, and realized that I could not change the flow of time; but, I also realized that I could impact that flow by simply "being": being myself, living my life, recognizing my potential, sympathizing with others . . . making a difference.
I have never forgotten that day in my life. Some would say it was an epiphany or a paradigm-shift. For me, it was but a prelude to my life as a mother. The flow of life impacts all that it touches: father, mother, brother, sister, colleague, ideals, but most of all daughters and sons.
My daughter at 20 years old dances in the light-pools, sings the songs of joy, and fills my life . . . and she reminds me that each day is a chance for all of us to make an impact; each smile a chance to uplift; each moment of humor a chance to invite laughter into the world.
Welcome to the world at 20, Baby Girl!
Thank you for sharing your eternal beauty ~
I love you,