Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sugar and Spice

Angel Daughter Number Four.  My youngest.  My baby.

To me, it is as if she was sprinkled with pixie dust and an extra dose of joy when she was born.  Sent on her way to join her three older sisters for good measure.  Bound and determined to become a part of our family, her daddy's contribution to the spark of this beautiful soul spent seventy two hours patiently in search of the other half of her DNA.  You can hear her daddy describing her determination to the delivery room nurses(with a lot of pride in his little swimmers) in the video following her birth.  She picked up on this recently while watching the video of her birth and with a look of absolute astonishment on her face, she turned to her father and I and proclaimed, "YOU HAD SEX FOR SEVENTY TWO HOURS WHEN YOU MADE ME???"  By the time we were able to stop ourselves from laughing, legend had been born.  And yet the truth is that our littlest Angel Daughter was not exactly planned.  At least the timing was not ours, because we knew that we wanted to have a fourth child, just not right then.  And obviously, since we were doing very little to prevent the possible conception of a baby, this little person was no mistake!  Only a wonderful surprise.  Not a birthday of hers goes by without my thanking God for her wonderful soul's persistence, determination, and strength.  She is absolute proof that sometimes the greatest things in our lives are those which happen on their own time and not the time in which we believe is best.  AD4 is the perfect argument for this.
On February 9, 1994, AD4 made her entrance into the world.  She was quiet at first.  So quiet, in fact, that the doctors went to extra lengths to make her cry.(I hope they didn't pinch her!)  I think she was just taking it all in.  For the first two years of her life, she was known as "the Great Observer" in our family because she intently absorbed everything that was going on around her.  She didn't walk until about fourteen months, but from that day forward, I swear she danced through her days.
Now, at age 17, she is all wide-eyes and black hair with sassy blue bangs.

She is mile long eyelashes and freckles sprinkled across her nose and cheeks.  I used to tell her that the freckles were spots from where the sun kissed her cheeks.  She is dimples and rose-colored lips.
She is focus and intensity and compassion.  She is rhythm and movement and passion.  She is wise beyond her now, seventeen years, most likely a result of the years she spent observing the way in which everyone else moved throughout the world.  She is kindness and creativity.  She is friendship and deep loyalty, fiercely devoted to those whom she cares about.  She is all that is good about teenagers.
I love this sweet person with an intensity that I could only fathom after having brought four incredible daughters into this increasingly difficult world.  And yet, because of AD4 and because of Angel Daughters Numbers One, Two and Three, I know that goodness can prevail.  I know this because there is so much of it in all four of my daughters.

Happy, happy Birthday, Sunshine.  I pray that your heart doesn't get broken too many times.  I hope that when you break someone else's heart, you will remember how it feels and that you will go easier on them in the knowing.  I know that you will have arguments with your best friends and that you will cry many tears over them.  I hope that you will also find a way to patch things back up.  You will find yourself sighing about how quickly time seems to pass.  You will lose people you love, but you will find a way to keep them close, anyway.  So please.  Take too many pictures(even of people who don't like to stand still or who complain that you are clicking too many).  Laugh too much and too enthusiastically.  Hug long and try not to be the first to let go.  Dance as if the world is your stage.  Cheer for the ones you care about so that everyone else turns around to see who the crazy person is.  Love as if your heart has never been broken.  And never, ever give up.  You have to face the same person in the mirror every single day of your life.  Be happy, my sweet child.  And most importantly, be grateful.

I love you, my seventeen year old Angel girl.


deb colarossi said...

I was here today,
and I was just going to return and ask if you were okay,
tell you I was thinking of you.

And now you made me cry.

Happy Birthday to your wonderful surprise.
And happy birthing day to my wonderful surprise.... you.

and the photos !!!!!! stunning. stunning.

jojo said...

absolutely beautiful in every single way...but, of course, how could it be otherwise?? Happy Birthday sweet child..;j

Catherine said...

She really does look like a sweet little pixie fairy!! Adorable! You have a beautiful family Debra!
xo Catherine

chandelier magic said...

Happy Birthday Angel Daughter 4!

Deb, I have a file of your posts printed out so I can refer to them when I don't know how to say what I'm thinking or feeling. This post will help me write a Valentine to my kids. Thank You.

My new favorite quotes -"Cheer for the ones you care about so that everyone else turns around to see who the crazy person is."

"Hug long and try not to be the first to let go."

Most importantly, I want that 17 year olds haircut.

Thanks for being you.

LauraX said...

Birthday blessings to Mamma and Daughter...oh she is a magnificent pixie...her own beautiful self!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to your absolutely gorgeous daughter. Hugs

Angella Lister said...

I opened your page and there she was, staring straight out at me, and what it made me do was smile.

and then i read on and realized that your youngest is but a month older than my youngest, we were walking around with these magical daughters at the same time, and your story of her birth, the quiet observer, is so much the same as the story of our daughter's birth, how she was just taking everything in and they tapped her and tapped her until she gave a brief cry as if to say, stop, i'm here, give me a moment to take it all in.

she is beautiful, your girl. such a beautiful radiant spirit. you have captured it in these pictures. how could anyone not know themselves blessed with a face such as this in their life?

thank you for sharing, dear friend. my heart is full for you. Happy birthday to you, too.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

Lovely. Happy birthday, AD4.

Sabi Sunshine said...

She is so cute like her Mom.. wish her very very happy bday and May GOd bless her with lots of happines in future.

Sabi Sunshine

Jenn-n-n said...

What a beautiful young lady your AD4 is. She has amazingly expressive eyes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb!
Thank you for your lovely comment! I feel much the same and we must keep in touch. My email is szsunshine8@gmail.com. You are one I don't want to lose touch with. I am still writing and will post. I'll email you photos once in a while.
Your daughter is sooo lovely!! Those eyes! She looks like kindness itself! xoxoxo

Debbie said...

How beautiful. I loved the part about her being "all that is good about teenagers".

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

beautiful girl like her beautiful mama! i loved this post and those eyes are phenomenal! xoxo

Tracy said...

Oh Debra,
That was beautiful as well as your daughter; truly lovely in every EVERY way!
On the first photo I noticed the srpinkling of freckles on her face and fell in love with those. Thank you for reminding us that teenagers can be lovely AND loved creatures. I'll need to remember that when my eleven year old turns into one!

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