She snuck into our lives on this day fifteen years ago.
Her arrival was announced by the doctor with these words:
“You have a big, fat….baby girl.”
Last night, upon the story of her formal introduction to the world she was bemused by the description of herself, and not altogether pleased the doctor had judged her physical condition as less than petite.
Margaret Elizabeth, Maisie as she is called, is fifteen years old today.
She is as magnificent, charming and beguiling on this day as she was the moment I first met her gaze.
Maisie is captivating in the way that you walk away from any conversation or interaction with her and you linger a little bit more to reflect on your encounter.
She combines commonsense with courage. A passion for learning with a dedication to detail. Maisie is a friend who will be honest with you and loyal to a fault.
Her life aura is an unquenchable enthusiasm for being, simply put, who she is:
I think of my daughter as she sleeps away the early dawn of this Saturday morning.
She has been, from her earliest days, an amalgamation of those women who have been closest to her, and had the greatest impact on her being.
There is her Grandma from Green Bay, Margaret.
Passionate about what she believes. Outspoken about those beliefs. She lacks fear in being wrong.
There is her Grandma from Next Door, Elizabeth.
She is bright eyed and brown-eyed. She has a laugh that makes you laugh. She is clever and sometimes sneaky.
Maisie’s Aunt Katie is her Muse.
Artistic, creative and sharp. Her love of performance, and her faux insistence on being shy, is a natural extension of everything she has learned from the Aunt she loves with all her heart.
The cousin of her Mom, Kathleen is the independent force that lives in Maisie every day. Confident without being cocky. Studious, honest and reliable. Rock solid.
And, of course, there is her Mom.
Wrapped up inside of the person that is Maisie is every genetic trait of her Mom. Beauty and grace. Kindness and grace. Faith and honor. Respect and resilience. Stubbornness and generosity.
Maisie has been graced with strong women throughout her life.
It has been at the core of her very being.
She has been given the gift of other strong women who have impacted her life in remarkable ways.
Her 5th grade teacher, Ginny Sullivan, instilled in Maisie a deep sense of spirituality. A faith in a God that isn’t an abstract aspect of her life. But, surges through her being as sure as the blood does through her veins.
Not a second of a moment of an hour of any day have I ever thought Maisie anything but a powerful symbol of the true glory of a loving God.
On a planet of 7.5 billion people there is not a single Maisie amongst us other than the one which I am honored to have live in my home.
At fifteen I admit I miss so many things about Maisie as a baby, a toddler and a small child.
I miss the moments of dancing with her until she would fall asleep.
I miss the snuggly naps.
I miss the baby giggles and the shoulder rides and the simple ability to pick her up and squeeze her tight into my arms.
Turning fifteen though doesn’t take away anything from the awesome power that Maisie has on my life every single day.
The eyes are as bright as the day in which I first saw them.
The smile as warm as the one that first stole my heart.
When told I had just been given the awesome gift of a Daughter in my life I was dumbstruck for several minutes.
I knew I was having a baby and there was a 50/50 chance it was going to be a girl.
The thought, I admit, simply had never crossed my mind.
I simply thought about having a baby. A healthy, big, fat – baby.
Fifteen years later I cannot imagine a breath I take without that baby in my life.
It has been a privilege and an honor to be the Dad of a Daughter.
It has been a gift from a generous God that my Daughter is Maisie.
Happy Birthday, Maisie!