To my daughter on her birthday…

“…there there, little girl, don’t cry. They have broken your doll, I know. Your tea-set blue and your playhouse too are things of the long ago. But such childish troubles will soon pass by… there there, little girl, don’t cry.”

Today marks the tenth year in the life of Gaelynn Trinity Rose Prosser, born in the early pre-Dawn hours of March 6th in the 2000th year of our LORD.

Gaelynn was born after several hours of labor at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, the beginning of which occurred at the end of my regular work shift at the same hospital.

One of these days I will put the story of her birth down on paper, as it remains an oft-told tale of family lore, but for now I will reflect upon the child who continues to grow into a marvel before my wondering eyes.

Given, as I am, to rambling fits of over effusive praise that I later cannot help but shake my head at, with Gaelynn the words fall far short of the mark in capturing her…  the way a photograph cannot depict the vitality with which a soul occupies the person, but remains a mere flat and terse representation.

I wholly confess that my conception of Gaelynn is bound to be tinted by the pride I have in myself and she as my daughter…  that said, she is among the lofty Parthenon in which I hold the more remarkable people I have ever known.

Though still so young, I look upon Gaelynn’s days to come with much anticipation.

She continues to grow tall and lithe, with a slow and graceful figure. In temperament she is becoming more inclined to the mood swings of a teenager than those of a child, her passions run deep and can rise to the surface in a great rushing torrent.

Her intellect is maturing in curious and interesting ways. Gaelynn remains rather studious and introspective when left to herself, while also expressive and open to her peers. Despite all of the hardness she has often had to endure, she remains so guileless and vulnerable with others. I worry about it sometimes…

With all the perpetual motion of our household, of four children and innumerate tasks and social commitments, Gaelynn is put-upon as something of a parental “understudy” and often has to help the younger children in one thing or another.

Sometimes I wonder if she feels robbed of attention and affection, being the eldest of a number of children. I recall how I sometimes felt as a boy, the oldest son of several children, when I would see what was lavished upon my younger siblings.

To her credit, if such a sentiment is held, she has mastered the art of concealing it from us. For, on the whole, she is an exceedingly loving and sweet girl.

I sense a time of trial coming ahead between her and Candace, as Gaelynn has been showing the occasional flashes of a maiden-woman ‘neath the smooth lines of her child’s face. Her green eyes can burn and her tongue is quick. Candace may be a bit overmatched here, but I know she will rise to the occasion. I hope.

As she enters the beginning of another decade, I have been preparing for what her adulthood will require. While not locking myself into specific paths, I am making arrangements for her adolescence as well as her adulthood.

Dating. Driving. College. As far as these milestones once seemed, they are now fast approaching upon a nearing horizon.

Gaelynn has already begun to notice boys her own age, though she still tends to regard them as noisy and obnoxious. However, I can tell by her questions to me and how her friendships have developed, that she is beginning to feel those first romantic inclinations.

I have been told that girls are considered far more expensive than boys, because boys traditionally are expected to “foot the bill” of certain expenses as they approach adulthood.

While my plans include some significant contribution on Gaelynn’s part, I have no intention of merely throwing her out into the world without subsisting her. We will help her with a vehicle and will assist her through college until she begins her career or gets married, whichever comes first.

Oh but I do get ahead of myself, don’t I? Ah me, I cannot help it…

So much of these ten years has become a swirling tumult of images, voices, and memories…  I presume that the next decade will progress no slower than this last one has.

May the Lord help me stand as her father, and raise her well. Might I exemplify Him, however poorly I can, while yet directing her to see and know Him as her true Father and God.

I love you, my sweet Gaelynn, may your birthday be blessed.

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