My daughter is beautiful. From the moment she emerged from my womb, exquisite and screaming in protest, I was awed by her sweet face; I would trace the gentle slope of her nose and marvel at the unspoiled blush of her tiny rosebud lips, pondering and praying over the slumbering cherub tucked safely in the curve of my arm. Even now, some sixteen years later, her delicate face engenders the same wonder.
Beautiful is quite often the first thing people notice about my daughter, but to limit the knowing to her physicality would be to deny the girl who is a surprisingly individuated woman in bloom. She is a creature in full possession of herself with an inward treasure that will prove irresistible. My child is a curl of light and a silhouette of shadow. She is shimmer through soupy haze that elevates the atmosphere. And she is shade, the hint of something undiscovered and not easily subdued. My girl is a symphony, the whimsical pianissimo of the woodwinds and the commanding swell of the strings that resonate and reverberate at the edges of the chamber hall. My child is a whispered confidence to be discovered, a hint of her father, and the undeniable reflection of her mother. And she is a force with which to reckon.
I believe in strong women and she is one. No stranger to pain, my daughter knows the value of strength. Even in grief she is not a victim and so she stands and she deals. She holds her head high and carries the world in her incredibly accessible heart. She is rooted in her love of God and reaching for a world in need. Her wounds are deep but her dreams are mighty, she is a girl vibrating with imponderable potential. The responsibility of her rearing is great, and so, as I steal a glance at the still gentle slope of her nose and the blush of her now full rosebud lips, I reflect on the woman she is running to become, in the light of who I finally am.
There are passions to fuel and lessons to impart to the girl with wild fire in her heart. I will teach my daughter the responsibility that she has to herself to refuse the notion that women should be sweet, play nice, and sell their talents and aspirations short. I will teach her to be comfortable in her skin and aware of her power. She will learn from me both the beauty and the temporal nature of disaster and she will understand that she can be changed by the things that happen to her but she can refuse to be reduced by them. My daughter is free in her wildness and her life is without borders. She will be buoyed by the love of a Creator whose grace is extravagant and she will grasp the immensity of His plans for her life. I will impart in her the value of different and the knowledge that sometimes the most peculiar people are also the most enchanting and valuable in their contribution. And she will know without measure and without doubt that she is enough.
My daughter is beautiful and she is emerging. She is strong hearted, strong minded and strong souled and she is a reflection of her mother with sweet hint of her father. My daughter is a whimsical yet sure footed dance between strength and beauty and she is perfectly imperfect. My dream for her is that she will continue to color and create with the reckless abandon of childhood, outside the lines of societal expectations, in courageous pursuit of that which fuels the fire in her soul. And in my beautiful child is the gift of a glimpse of the woman that I have become.