I was asleep when she came into this world.
It is not how I intended it.
Eighteen months before, when her sister came into the world via C-section, I had an epidural. I got to hear her first cries from inside my womb, even before they cut her out.
Liseanne arrived two weeks early. On that Saturday, thirty years ago today, her father and I were putting the finishing touches on the bedroom where her sister would move into so she could have the nursery. I felt my water break and stayed silent. There was a nurse’s strike on. I did not want to go to the hospital during the strike.
When I eventually called my doctor to tell him what had happened, he told me he’d meet us at the hospital in an hour.
“Can’t I wait until after the strike?” I asked.
He hung up on me after an emphatic, “No.”
Liseanne did not want to wait. The world was an adventure worth exploring and it didn’t matter that with the strike I would not be allowed an epidural and hear her first cries from within the womb. She wanted to get on with this thing called living life!
I probably wouldn’t have heard her cry anyway. She doesn’t spend time crying. She spends all her time living. In fact, after she was born, I don’t think I heard her first cry until many weeks later. It wasn’t her way.
She is thoughtful. Smart. Witty. Kind. She will always fight for the underdog. And she will always stand up for what is right. She speaks up in the face of injustice. Stands up to bullies. But she doesn’t cry over spilt milk, lost dreams or broken hearts. She accepts what is, wipes up the spilt milk and does what is necessary to make dreams come true or help a friend heal a broken heart. And then, she gets back to the business of living fully immersed in the joy and mystery of being alive.
When she was in middle school, a teacher suggested that Liseanne needed to pay more attention to doing her own work, not helping out the special needs students in her class.
“It is her way,” I told the teacher. “And once Liseanne has figured out her own way, there’s very little chance of getting her to take a different path.”
Liseanne has always known what works for her. What is right for her. What is best.
It is her way.
And in knowing of her own path, she accepts that others may not see it her way or want to be on the same path. And that’s okay. There is always room in Liseanne’s life for others to have their own unique paths, their own unique expression of themselves. There is always room in her heart to accept you just the way you are.
It’s just who she is. Accepting. Forgiving. Understanding. Loving.
My youngest daughter turns 30 today.
I was asleep when she came into this world, but this journey with her has kept me wide-awake to the wonder and awe of life (not to mention the humour and the unexpected.)
Through her quirky humour, her willingness to explore the world, her fearlessness and curiosity, her ability to accept everyone without judgement and make room for many points of view, and her capacity to forgive and Love deeply, my life has been made richer, my journey that much brighter.
I was asleep when she came into this world. I am so grateful and blessed I got to wake up to the miracle of Liseanne.