To My Daughter On Her First Birthday

On this day, a year ago hence, were you born. It was a snowy gray Dawn when we drove to the hospital just down the road from our house and, after an anxious morning of waiting, you arrived at thirty-seven minutes past Noon… even at the turning of the Tide.

Now a year has passed, and more lovely have you welcomed this Winter than the last. You have transformed from each season into the next with all loveliness and charm. You have grown upward and outward from a squirmy soft little thing into a giggling wriggling infant girl-child. Your hair has lightened into a pale shade of gold, and your eyes are the light blue hue of the where the horizon meets the Sea.

Without descending into excessive boasting, let me just say that you are a bit ahead of the developmental curve. Your mother and I predict that you shall walk, talk, and toilet-train rather sooner than average. You are also highly intuitive, with keen problem solving abilities… which is just an over-effusive father`s way of saying that you are adept at getting into mischief. However, you are far more interested in books than most children I have seen at the same age. I wonder if you might not be an early reader.

Of all the children, you seem the most comfortable in the presence of others. While you brother and sister were always a bit guarded, at first, when meeting new people – you will eagerly amble over to other children that you meet without reservation or diffidence, and you are always glad to be cuddled on by any of the elder ladies of our church.

Being the youngest of three children, you are a gleeful tag-along to your brother and sister – who are eager to include you in their various sorts of shenanigans and escapades.

Gaelynn is more attentive to your practical needs than your brother is, and the two of you show the lovely closeness of sisters. You welcome her lavish attempts to coddle and pamper you with sisterly attention.

Israel, on the other hand, seems someone that you derive more entertainment from than anything else. I have seen how you will watch him with a strange combination of awe and delight as he hurls and dances about the room.

The affinity you show for your mother, of course, cannot be rivaled. You never seem more at peace than you do in her arms. I pray you only continue to grow closer to her as a daughter, and learn of Proverbial womanhood at her feet.

Even so, Sophia, there is a harmony between you and I that seems wholly different from what I have known with my other children. While they all have shown a tenderness and affection of an infant towards a parent, you and I share a kinship that it evident to all. Such terms as “Daddy`s Girl” are easily bandied about, but it is difficult to deny the paternal connection we share.

It reminds me somewhat of the way that Israel was at your age, so content to rest in my arms. Verily, you and I have spent many a late Winter`s evening waiting for your mother to come home from work, gazing absently at the falling snowflakes outside of the window.

Sophia, I cherish and adore you – you my youngest child. I look forward to what another year with you will bring, in giggles and tears.

I remain, your devoted and loving father…

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