Saturday, December 5, 2015

December 5: A Good Son, Daughter's Fifteenth Birthday, Peter Thabit Jones, "Birthday Walk," Confessions of Saint Marty

He prayed for a good son, and when he was born named him Robert, after his adoptive father.

Ives lives for his family.  Nothing is more important to him.  His wife, Annie.  His son and daughter, Robert and Caroline.  They give his life meaning and joy.  His favorite times are going on walks with his kids, holding their hands at busy intersections.  Jumping in the car and taking day trips to upstate New York, sight-seeing and dreaming of homes with gabled roofs and gardens.  Ives starts planning for his happily-ever-after the day his son is born.

Today is my daughter's fifteenth birthday.  A decade and a half ago, at 7:29 a.m., she came screaming into this world, pink as a summer sunrise.  Up to that moment, I wasn't sure about being a father.  I thought of myself as a basically selfish person, unwilling to give up my late evenings with friends, movies every weekend, short and long trips with my wife.  No strings tying me down.

And then I held my daughter for the first time, and I felt my heart cracking open like the San Andreas Fault.  I had no idea that my life had been missing something.  She was beautiful, smiling and calm, for the most part.  I didn't mind changing her diapers.  At bath time, we would sing songs and splash each other.  Halloween was candier.  Christmas was brighter.  The world was, somehow, larger and smaller at the same time.

So, today, I celebrate my daughter.  Fifteen years young.  Dancer.  Flutist.  Singer.  Gamer.  Sulker.  Eye-roller.  Early Christmas present.  My wife will be battling the bell ringers and Christmas crowds this afternoon to finish our birthday shopping.  Tomorrow afternoon, we will have cake and ice cream after church.

Now, if Saint Marty could just get her to make her bed...

Birthday Walk

by:  Peter Thabit Jones

Walking the dazzling rim
Of the Pacific,
The Grecian-blue sea
And mythological rocks,
I feel the mortal
And sense the eternal.

I am a child
At the window of wonder,
A man spellbound
By a living prayer.

To begin
To imagine
Just one breath of God
Is to attempt
To place a tiger
On the back of an ant.

I stand and I watch
The ocean
Making love
To the humbled bay.

Confessions of Saint Marty

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