To my daughter on her birthday…

It was on this day, eleven years ago, that my firstborn entered the world and changed my world forever.

Gaelynn Trinity Rose Prosser was born late on the evening/early in the morning of March 6 in the 2000th year of our Lord. She came bawling into the world at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, where a relieved throng of in-laws and kinfolk greeted her.

The time that has passed between then and now has passed quickly…  far too quickly for my liking. Sometimes I’ll watch her from across a room and marvel at the graceful creature she has become.

From a precocious and darling little infant to a tall and slender girl on the cusp of maidenhood, all in the batting of an eye. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t seem fair, at the same time I am keen to discover the woman she is gradually becoming.

Gaelynn is very sensitive and deeply passionate, she wears her emotions on her sleeve and possesses a depth of character that is beyond her years. Open with others, she is able to make friends quickly but seems to prefer the closeness of a few rather than the whirl of large gatherings.

Though many of her peers are all too eager to delve into the adolescent world of amorous trifles with the opposite sex, Gaelynn seems to regard the whole affair as a great bore and would much rather continue to play. The realm of the imagination and adventure holds a far greater allure than whatever “cute boy” celebrity is being feted by Madison Avenue media.

Moreover, there’s been no downward trajectory in her intellectual development. Gaelynn’s most recent report card shows straight A’s and a 3.8 grade point average. She is active in U.I.L. academic competition as well as the school’s gifted & talented program, and expects to be a first-chair clarinet in middle school band next year.

Of course, her interest in animals is as strong as ever, as is her desire to become a veterinary physician someday. Her current studies to this end center on the care and well-being of her puppy “Inky” and our other pets.

As with the rest of our children, Gaelynn maintains a rather strong connection with music. But what has been interesting, for me, has been to see how her taste and preference has continued to evolve in this past year.

While she enjoys a broad spectrum of popular “secular” music and “Christian” music, she is fondest of an aesthetic that would be best described as balladeers. Love songs and soulful laments of longing and loss.

In this, and some other ways, she’s very much an old soul. Her affections are deep, as are her loyalties and connections to others.

Her fond remembrances span much of the young life she has already lived, and can easily dispense with a tale of some good time she once passed with friends she has not seen since her early youth. Like her father, she is blessed (or cursed) to remember so much of the abstruse and miscellaneous moments with a stark clarity. Such that it seems they only occurred a few days ago.

I wonder at what impact this has had on the person she is now, and her development into adolescence. While I am grateful to see the capacity with which she imbues so much of her time, that little is lost over the course of a given day, I wonder at price this comes. Will her own memory eventually prove to become a burden to her?

Gaelynn’s spiritual development continues to bear fruit and prove encouraging. Of course, like many children of devout religious adherents, the fundamentals of our paradigm are simply assumed without challenge. If she currently possesses any doubts or skepticism with the Christian faith, they have not manifested themselves in any discernible fashion.

For her, the existence of God (and the implications thereof) is as incontrovertible as the rising and setting of the Sun. I feel like I’ve given her plenty of opportunity to interact with “doubt” and “skepticism” within the controlled confines of instructive dialogue. Time and time again, she shows herself to believe with the zeal of any professing adherent. Oh, but time will tell.

As it stands now, I am delighted to know her. I am abundantly proud of the young lady she has grown to be in this o’erhasty eleven years. Based upon which I have tremendous expectations for the woman she will prove to become.

But in the meantime, I will love her for the girl she still is…  my sweet Gaelynn and darling firstborn.

On this day, of all days, I remember the day I first met her and thank God for this generous gift of a daughter.

Happy birthday Gaelynn, I love you very much. May our Lord help me raise you well, that you will grow into a strong and Godly woman.

With love, your devoted father,

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