|Age 4 going on 5|
The moment she was born, I felt this sense of relief, like a long slow breath released, and a recognition. She was here. The doctor placed her scrunched up little form on my chest, and I traced the whorl of hair at the top of her forehead with my finger and felt the deepest peace. She is, indeed our peacemaker, the one who can insert a light comment to dissipate tension, as she did just last weekend, when my son and I clashed over a certain tone of voice in the airport, and then on the plane I tried to explain to him what in his tone had so offended me, and he replied by explaining how my tone had also offended him, and then we both apologized stiffly, our girl sitting in the seat between us smiling serenely, almost beatifically, watching it all. And then as we sat in righteous huffy silence, her brother and her mother, she put an arm around each of our shoulders and said, "There, there, now don't we all feel heard," as if we were two years old and learning to use our words, and it made us all burst out laughing, even her dad who was across the aisle and refusing to get embroiled in any of it.
|Age 18 going on 19|
One of her aunts likes to say she is like water, cool and soothing, flowing around and through the rough spaces, refreshing everything. We feel so nourished by her presence. This child knows, above all else, how to make a person feel loved. She does this magnificently. And today she turns 19 years old. We love you, our dear sweet girl. There is not another soul in this world like you and we are so abundantly blessed to be your family. May your most wonderful dreams be realized now and forever, our darling girl. Amen.