Children are a gift - God's greatest gift.
I remember when my first such "gift" was two weeks old. She was on my bed, looking up at me with eyes that were only beginning the turn to a permanent azure blue. It those moments, as I peered down at her, I remember feeling the awesome swell of love that comes from knowing this little heap of hairless, pink-skinned infant, whose hands and feet seemed never still, is yours.
The bond between mother and daughter - it is born in those simple moments.
Her introduction to life outside the cushioned environment of the womb was a firm slap. I remember thinking it a rather cruel introduction to her new existence. She appeared to agree and bellowed her resentment loudly. And she would bellow even more loudly in those first formative years when her little behind felt the sting of a human hand for her not infrequent infractions of house rules. I fear she harbors a resentment of such spankings to this day.
The times outs ushered in by her generation of parents are a kinder, gentler, more effective discipline.
As she lay on the bed that sweltering late September afternoon, in the bedroom of a cramped garage apartment in Jacksonville, Texas, I decided to try on her first little feminine outfit.
The dressing of my little doll went fine until I attempted to put a matching bonnet on her head. No Hedda Harper this one!!!
Her little fist balled up in rebellion and after several futile efforts, finally gripped the gay bowed ribbon I had so carefully tied under her chin. In one pull she loosened the bow and in her attempts to rid her head of the pesky bonnet she managed to roll over on her side, something such "newly borns" aren't supposed to do until some weeks later, at least according to my Dr. Spock book.
I snapped a number of photographs before finally relenting and freeing her little head of the bonnet, which she had managed to struggle part way off already. And in the more than half century since that day her attitude toward hat wearing remains little changed.
I to dislike hats. Hat aversion must be a genetic code mothers pass on to daughters.
Happy birthday my darling daughter. Only God could bestow such a gift as you.