Thursday, October 29, 2009

happy birthday lexie!

on this day thirteen years ago
our doctor - rick - said hey! it's a girl!
and my heart skipped a beat
and my dreams came true in one moment
and in my arms was lexie
- named alexia brooke by us -
but as with all honourable births,
she has found her own names
as she has emerged
into herself.
the blessing of my daughter
(and the blessings of my two sons)
have been difficult at times,
but then also
the most magical stunning gifts i have known and shared
with this place that we all pass through
- eyes half-closed, hearts half opened -
until such an event
renders locks and keys and other such fripperies
unnecessary and spurious residues
of a world bent on seeing itself
only through surface manifestations.
in my children i experience
the magical present whole now of being.

in my daughter
the clean pure wholeness
of womanhood.

thankyou lexie,
for being so far inside the
loving wholeness we know
as a dad and a daughter
sharing a small space for a while.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain,has such small hands


Jenny Stevning said...

Beautiful girl!
Happy birthday to her.
Happy birthday to your fatherhood.

Kathleen said...

Oh yay, I get to say something I always wishes someone would have said to me:

Congratulations on being the parent of a teen

You have some extraordinary years ahead.

Remember what it was like the first 12 months of Lexie's life, when each week seemed to bring about a new amazing change.

If we choose to view adolescence from that same perspective, it's just as marvelous and mind-blowing. Watch her humor mature overnight. Bask in her newfound views of the larger world as they unfurl. Cherish her need for solitude, for time to make sense of all the whirling changes around her with friends, and feelings, and neuropeptides!

I loved the teen years of my 3 kids beyond belief. Largely, because I had no idea how much fun they'd be. I'd heard so many horror stories, I was totally blindsided by the delight!

Happy birthday, Lexie -- may you know know deeply you are loved!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Beautiful tribute to your daughter, Steven. Someone has said that we start out completely dependent on others, then arrive at independence, and as we go through life we come to realize that we are in fact interdependent.

rosethorn said...

happy birthday to such a beautiful girl

steven said...

hello jenny stevning - thankyou! thankyou! thankyou! steven

steven said...

kathleen thankyou for your kind and generous advice. i have a boy in the middle of the teen years as i write and your advice is so sage and insightful - so again thankyou. i'm not sure where lexie will go with her teenagerhood. she's such an amazing person but it's a lot to deal with for a child. i'll keep everyone posted - well no i won't actually!!!! have a lovely day steven

steven said...

richard - that's absolutely within my own experiencing when i look back on the stretch of life i've finished - fifty two laps around the sun - but i've not seen it articulated so concisely. so thankyou very much!! have a lovely day!!! steven

steven said...

hello rosethorn!! thankyou very much. steven

Phoenix said...

A very happy birthday to Alexia... may she have a great year ahead. The poem by E.E. Cummings is just perfect!

Reya Mellicker said...

Lexie is absolutely drop dead gorgeous! And she looks so at ease within herself - how unusual for a girl of that age. You should be so proud, Steven.

Also wanted to say I am so sorry to hear the sad news about Ali. May she fly high. Sending much love to you.

Barry said...

Happy Birthday Lexie! A teenager at last!

And Steven, you got to call your doctor by is first name 13 years ago? Now that's my kind of doctor.

willow said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful Lexie!!! She's lucky to have you for a father, Steven. Enjoy the festivities of the day!

Anonymous said...

Alexia is a beautiful young girl and a whole life awaits her with all the joys, tears, and happiness of growing, and making grandparents out of dad and mom.

Lovely post. Steven.

ellen abbott said...

Ah...the greatest gift.

Happy Birth Day to you and Happy Birthday to Lexie.

Farmchick said...

Lovely tribute to your daughter and a very happy birthday wish to Lexie.

Friko said...

hey, proud dad, you have a beautiful daughter.

give her a hug and a birthday wish from Friko.

Joanna said...

She looks so bright and shiny--just a lovely girl. Our children's birthdays are such poignant times. Remembering their birth and seeing the incredible growth they accomplish and thinking about what's ahead for them. Happy Birthday to Lexie--and to you Steven and to Lexie's mom (it's a birthday for you two as well).

jinksy said...

Happy Birthday Daughter and congratulations Dad on your post!

Susie Hemingway said...

Beautiful young lady, and a wonderful poems by e.e.cummings too!

Golden West said...

Ah, the years surely fly by. My own daughter turned 30 this year and it seems like such a short time ago she was 13, too. Enjoy, Steven, as she blossoms even further.

steven said...

hello golden west - i can remember the moment i was given her by "rick" the doctor. i saw her eyes and fell in love! i'm still messed up. i love every stage of her life - some are confusing, some are beautiful, some are exhausting, some are messy - all are amazing. honestly they are!!! i can't imagine seeing her leave but that's what i wish for us - when the time and space is right. steven

steven said...

susie hemingway thankyou!!!!! it was cool for me as steven to place my daughter and the cimmings poem so near to each other. i can still remember the first thrill of his writing in the same way as i can remember the first thrill of knowing i was a dad to a girl. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hello jinksy and thankyou! oh, and thankyou again!!! steven

steven said...

hello phoenix!!! she gets her outer loveliness from her mum - and i see a lot of me in her inner goodness. can i say that?! oh well i did. steven

steven said...

reay - the picture doesn't tell you how tiny she is - sixty two pounds and ultra slinky in her dance and gymnastics. she is not competitive - can't stand it and runs from it, but she loves to move her body. she is very kind and loving and oh so affectionate. she loves animals and plants and very loves her dad even though she is finding me stranger and stranger as her eyes open wider and wider!!!! i love her so big!!!! i really hope i can push her a little further away from just left of the middle which is where she finds her balance at this point.have a sweet dc evening reya. steven

steven said...

barry - i respect all people but when the role is captured in a descriptor like doctor or sir or mister - well something bigger is lost. rick has brought my two children in this mariage into the world and is a cyclist who bikes to and from work - thirty km a day, wears squeaky duck shoes into the labour room, and is one of those guys who seems sleepy, hasn't shaved but knows his game and plays hard. his line "hey you got a girl!" was one of my all time fave moments in my life!!! have a peaceful day barry. steven

steven said...

oh willow thankyou!!! she says that too although i know i could bring more into her life - she just isn't ready for it or even wanting what i have in mind some of the time and that's the beauty of children. they make you think about what you think about!!!! sweet evening at the manor willow. steven

steven said...

wow abe what a sweet thoughtful comment!!! i love being a dad - deeply - and i really wish to be a grandparent some day. not for a while mind you but some day. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

ah ellen thankyou so much. steven

steven said...

hello farmchick - thankyou. it's easy to be generous in my comments and love for my children. i'm very very blessed. truly i am! steven

steven said...

hello friko - thankyou. i did!!!! steven

steven said...

hello joanna, i know your right because i have loved every stage and i miss every stage as it passes behind us. but it amazes me as i watch my children grow inside and out, that they are who they are despite all i might think or wish. i love that in fact. it gives me tremendous hope for the future!!!!! have a lovely evening. steven

hope said...

What a beautiful girl! Lots of Happy Birthday wishes for her...but she already has the best kind of present: you for her Dad.

acornmoon said...

Hope the birthday girl had a great day.

I love that poem also, it has a special place in my heart.

Bee said...

13 is such an interesting time: one foot in adulthood and the other in childhood. There is such a look of shining happiness in her eyes; my birthday wish for Lexie is that she never loses it.

(LOVE that poem; I remember it from Hannah and Her Sisters.)

steven said...

hello bee - thanks for all of this. lexie is sitting right on the cusp - chronologically and experientially between childhood and adulthood. she carries and values features from both. she has a strong sense of herself that isn't arrogant or brash but confident. i love that in anyone. oh i could prattle on and on about her . . . . . . steven