From her first cry to her first smile to her first song, life with Alexis is always an adventure. Over the past 32 years, I have borne witness to the magic and miracle of her voice growing stronger. I have watched her move through toddler stage to little girl, to adolescent, teenager, young woman and now, a mother.
And always, she has enchanted and enthralled. She has been real and fierce and loving and brave.
Today is my eldest daughter’s birthday.
I remember this day 32 years ago. It was much like today promises to be. Bright and sunny. Blue sky soaring into infinity.
Life looked predictable. Like it would always be blue sky and sunny days.
And then Alexis came into this world. She arrived on her terms, on her schedule. We had been anticipating her arrival at the end of May. That day had passed. Alexis wasn’t ready to meet the world yet. Or perhaps, the world wasn’t ready to meet her?
In the end, Alexis Marie erupted onto life’s stage 23 days past her original due date. As I lay on an operating table and the doctor cut into my abdomen, I heard her cries from within my womb and my heart melted. I could feel it. That instantaneous giving way of the boundaries that held all known feeling in place. A letting go of all restraint, an abandoning of life as I knew it as this tiny, precious, perfect being was lifted from the safety of my womb and exposed to the world.
I wanted to keep her close. To keep her tied to the umbilical safety of my being the vessel that embraced her every breath.
And I had to let her go. I had to allow the cord to be cut to give her wings room to grow.
They have been growing ever since.
There is so much in this world I do not know. So much about life and living and loving fearlessly I have yet to explore.
Before I became a mother, I thought I knew it all. I thought I had life figured out and that once I did become a mother, it would be a pretty clearcut, straight forward journey of raising them and setting them on their path with the prerequisite education, tools and hope chest filled with all they needed to live adult lives in an adult world.
Being a mother has taught me how little I knew then about Love, and how much I don’t need to know now about anything else because, in Love’s light, everything else pales.
Alexis is a woman and a mother now. Beautiful. Talented. Creative. Kind. Caring. Loving. I watch her with her infant son and my heart melts all over again.
She sings to him, and I hear angels’ voices.
She dances with him and I see a fairy queen, ethereal, regal, magical.
She paints and writes and creates beauty and wonder in the world all around and I know her son’s life will be filled with magic and beauty, wonder and awe.
She is sensitive and gentle. Fiercely loyal. Fiercely proud. Sometimes, she doubts her own strength, questions her capacity to be courageous. No matter her self-doubts, always she finds her way through because of her heart’s capacity to beat to its own drum, march to its own beat, love in its own rhythm.
Always, she watches out for others. Sees the beauty in every soul, the wonder in every breath. She hears the words that are left unspoken, and feels the pain that is left unhealed and knows exactly how to reach out and soothe another’s fears, another’s tears, another’s sadness.
She is intuitive. She is whimsical. She is miraculous, just as she always has been. Just as she always will be.
She is a woman, a mother, a daughter, a grand-daughter, a step-daughter, a sister, a step-sister, a niece, a cousin, a friend. She is so many things and has so many ways of being amazing because she is Alexis.
Happy Birthday my darling daughter. Though the miles may lay between us, you are my heart. Forever and always.