Sunday, June 23, 2013

Twenty Five

We had perched her on the old, wooden stool, the photographer and I.  I stood back and watched my friend, Janet snap, snap, snap with the camera, as the flash popped repeatedly against the gray backdrop.  Out of the hundreds of frames shot in a very short time, there were so many beauties. 

The phone rang on a steamy summer day in early July of 1989.   My friend the photographer was letting me know she had printed the contact sheets that were the first birthday photographs.  I asked, "How did they turn out?"  Her humble reply was something like, "Well, I think we caught a couple of keepers."

 This one remains my favorite, all these years later.  It captures the essence of her soul.   It is a soul that is at once joyful and hesitant, confident and cautious, loving and fierce.  As a family, we have always teased her about what we called her "Minnie Mouse voice" when she's excited.  She's silly.  And sensitive.  She is sweet and kind, but look out if you hurt someone she loves.  I have watched her hold and comfort babies so tenderly, and bolt out of a chair to get in the face of someone who was disrespectful to her mothers.  When she's angry-I mean really, really angry-she can sometimes think of nothing to say other than, "NO!  NO!  This is NOT OK!"

And now nearly a quarter of a century has passed since she found her way to earth and into my arms.  She is an accomplished, brave, strong, beautiful, marvelous soul, and there is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the sheer stroke of luck that brought us together.  Her birthday is this week.

Happy 25th birthday to a wonderful daughter.  I love you with all my heart.