Just like flowers for no reason or breakfast in bed on a random Tuesday morning, she was an unexpected gift; Unplanned, but showing up at just the perfect time. Parenting a nine- month old, in our second year of marriage, Jonesy and I had made a quick get away to New York City, just the two of us. After a series of strange errors, we ended up in a beautiful suite at the Waldorf-Astoria. It was our first time in the city, and we were mesmerized by the bigness of it all. We explored the Island, enjoying all it had to offer. A couple of weeks after returning home, we realized we had brought home the most amazing souvenir. The next Spring, she made her appearance. We were mesmerized by the tininess of her.
She was not an overly girly girl, even from the start. She was unassuming and content. Her imagination was her constant companion. She did not seek our approval yet was not rebellious at heart. She would not be bullied by her demanding older brother, but instead would leave to be on her own, happy to play what she wanted by herself. She preferred proximity, but never expected interaction, content in the nearness, even while independent in her activity. She walked and spoke in sentences at nine months. Petite in every way, you couldn’t help but notice this tiny little person with a voice that sounded like a lifetime smoker. Everything about her was unexpected.
Not one to draw attention to herself, neither one to be left behind, she was determined to do all the things her brothers and cousins were doing. Not for the attention, but for her own satisfaction. It was as if she was proving to herself the limitless potential she held. She did not care if others saw it or not, it was not for them she was striving. She was her own competition. She would outdo herself. If it meant she was outdoing others too, then so be it. She did not care. Pushing herself and her limits. that was her focus.
Hers was not a childhood without struggle. Not everything came easy to her, but she handled things with ease. She was so adaptable, it took us nine years to realize she lacked vision in one eye. Her perception so limited, it was practically non-existent, had not kept her from sports or activities where perception was key to success. She figured out a way to make it work. She could not see, but we were blinded by her tenacity. We were shocked by the diagnosis in a random doctor’s visit. The lack of vision has set up obstacles that she clears with little fuss.
At the end of this week, she will be blowing out eighteen candles on a pie, because cake…well its too expected. In less than eight weeks she will finish high school and not too many weeks later move on to a new state to build for herself a life that I know will be full. It is a funny thing parenting, you are a success when you are no longer needed. As I stroll in and out of the memories of her childhood through this week, I can’t help but notice how beautiful she has always been. Her introverted quietness hides her greatest beauty, a sincere and deep-thinking mind. If it were not my privilege to be her mother, I would want to be her friend. She is beauty and grace. She is strength of mind and character. She is fun and music that fills life with the very best joy. She is calm in the storm and a light in the dark. She is my Mac and the amount of love I feel for her, though with me always, is astounding and in all the very best ways, unexpected.