Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Birthday Girl

Back when I had only one child, I remember feeling sorry for a fifth child that was born to a family in our church. I thought there could be no baby more incredible than your firstborn--surely the "specialness" of the experience was at its height then, slipping gradually into the realm of "been there, done that."

But I've found, with the births of six children, that the opposite is true! I think I've appreciated each baby more, precisely because the experience is not all new--it's so wonderfully, achingly familiar. It's like returning to a vacation spot or a favorite work of art. You fall in love with it the first time, but repeat visits are richer because your love for it is rekindled and burned more deeply into your being each time. And you notice things beyond your first impressions. Having a daughter after several sons, I've noticed many more ways that a little girl's beauty and feminine qualities are so different from a boy's--more than I noticed with my first daughter, when I'd just had one of each.

Ten years separate my two girls. I adore the two boys that arrived in that interim, but I was in seventh heaven when this little girl emerged, wet and slippery, onto our bed. (It was my only home birth.) It seemed she was a fountain of femininity--and I've been drinking her in for the last four years. Her physical beauty takes my breath away sometimes--the sun glinting in her gossamer hair, the petal-soft cheeks, the delicate bone structure so different from my boys', the shapeliness of her legs, her arms, her little bum. Her verbal abilities and higher pitched voice are so remarkably expressive, whether she's playacting with her toys, telling on her brothers or just giggling! Her feminine temperament delights me too, as she mothers her doll and her little brother, as she wheedles her older siblings to play a game, as she delights girlishly in a swirly skirt or sequined "princess dress." She reminds me to live in the present moment.

My mother once looked up from a laughing Chicklet, who was especially charming just then, and said to me, "I hope your life is not so busy that you're missing this, hon."

I'm not, Mom. I'm not.


Thank you, Lord, for this marvelous gift You've entrusted us with for these four years--I pray that You will loan her to us for many more. Grant us the wisdom, the love and the obedience we need to raise her and her siblings. May they always be a cause for rejoicing, in our hearts and in Yours!


Islandsparrow said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet little girl!! I enjoyed my daughter (born after 4 lovely boys) in just the same way you describe. I delight in her femininity!! The emotional ups and downs are a tad more dramatic (understatement of the year) than her brothers but is wonderful to have a daughter!!

tonia said...

Happy Birthday!! Girls are such a sweet gift...I wish I had a couple more. :)

I'm glad you are enjoying her.

Cool Mama said...

Now THAT was sweet! My little one turns twenty next week,a nd I still can feel her special hugs, when she was little, if I close my eyes! YOu're little one is beautiful ! Oh..and the best advice my mother ever gave me when I asked her how it was possible to love the 'other children' as much as the first : " Well dear, each child brings love with them." And it's true. I have 5..and each one has been a unique, amazing and wonderful gift! NOw I wished I'd had more!

jlkm said...

A friend of mine just had her 3rd a few weeks ago. Her oldest (age 5) observed at dinner the other night, "Mommy, every time a new person comes into our family, my heart gets bigger."

That's how I feel about having more babies. Your heart gets bigger. There is always more love to go around.

Liquidoxology said...

Beautiful piece of writing!

At A Hen's Pace said...


Thanks for the compliments and especially for sharing your experiences! So nice to hear your stories and thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I loved this piece...Yes, keep enjoying the moment(s). They pass too quickly, each phase...Love, Pianomum