For Phoebe Linnea...
Today is the day that Phoebe Linnea turns 11 years old (in fact, the hour of her birth has already passed). We commemorated it with strawberry shortcake, hugs and kisses, and big, fat smiles. Later today a half-dozen girls will come to the farm for a birthday party--we're hoping the rain will go away before party time. But it won't dampen things even if it's pouring.
We look at her and can't believe this is the same tiny thing we nervously brought home from the hospital just over a decade ago. She was so bright and shiny (with red hair to boot) that we called her "New Penny."
In the months leading up to and immediately following Phoebe's birth, I was hard at work writing my very first book, Bird Watching For Dummies. I'd often give Phoebe her late bottle of milk and then head down to the basement guest room to write during the quiet hours.
When I got done writing the book, I felt as though Phoebe had been there with me the entire time.
And so the only dedication that seemed appropriate was:
Some nights during Phoebe's first year, I'd stay up watching "baby TV," gazing into her big blue eyes, which even then seemed to be windows into a very wise, old soul. In my entire life I've never felt so at peace as when Phoebe would fall asleep on my chest while I sat in my big gray recliner, rocking gently.
"The magic chest" Julie called it. And it seemed to fit--on those rare occasions when nothing else would calm Phoebe, I'd put her head on my chest and hum to her softly. She'd quiet down and drift off to see the Sandman.
And now she's all "growed" up. But every so often, (and not often enough for me) we have a nice cuddle just like we used to.
Happy birthday, sweet Phoebe! You make me (and us all) so proud!