My husband wrote this today...
As I write this, it was about this time two years ago that our youngest, Anne Claire, came into the world.
Virtually since her first breath, she's been known as "The Sunshine Bear." With beach-blonde platinum hair, piercing blue eyes and a quick, bug smile, she glows all the time. She's all girl, to be sure, with a fondness for baby dolls, frilly dresses and all things princess.
It must be said, that since she got in range of toddlerhood, her favorite word is "No!" I hope she remembers that word --and the force behind it --when Spike, a kid with green hair, arms full of tattoos, a gun collection and a Corvette, as well as a record (criminal, not vinyl), asks her to go to a Metallica reunion show.
I am 51, old enough to be the grandfather of my three children, particularly Annie. I look like Uncle Leo from "Seinfeld" ("Look at you, you're hideous."). I have a larger prescription inventory that Walgreen's, and (gasp) I have an AARP card.
And I confess that there are times that I wish I had met my wife 30 years ago, and had these children shortly after. But when it comes down to it, we don't decide the right time to have children. That's God's job. And for us, Tucker, Griffin and Anne Claire all showed up at the right time, according to God's time clock.
Folks may think we're the kids' grandparents and that's OK. We know better. And so do they.
What makes it so great is that Annie, Tucker and Griff have made midlife --to borrow Ernest Hemingway's wonderful phrase --"a moveable feast", a never-never ending roller coaster ride of laughter and tears and hopes and fears. And when everyone else's dreams have dried up, we can still dream, for our children, and for ourselves.
It's like we have a bottle full of hope that never runs dry.The Chrsitian life is like that, too.
All because of Tucker, Griffie and little Anne Claire, the Sunshine Bear.
To paraphrase the scriptures, children are a gift from the Lord.
And because of our Big 3, we get gifts every day. We get gifts from our children.
From Annie, my swollen knees get the best hugs in the world. I get to watch "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty" or "Kipper" almost every day. I get to watch some of the best interpretive dance this side of Lincoln Center, and hear the sweetest songs this side of Carnegie Hall. I get to read "Goodnight Moon" and "The Hungry Caterpillar". I get to see her precious smile. Scout Finch never had more pluck than Annie. And I get to be called Daa-eee, the sweetest title in the world.
All from the Sunshine Bear.
Happy Birthday, Anne Claire.