Twenty-nine years ago, our daughter Courtney Elizabeth Bonifant arrived and was handed to me swaddled and shell-shocked after a journey of nearly twenty four hours. I had two unique and unforgettable realizations: First, that this is what "complete" feels like. And, that I knew nothing.
Here was our tiny sweet creature, and here were our new lives changed with meaning I can't describe, and with fulfillment that was overpowering. Here we were, fumbling new parents fierce with the drive to provide and protect, weepy to know our unique importance to the life of another starting NOW. I realized I knew nothing, I realized I knew everything I needed to, for the love of Courtney.
Twenty-nine years later, our baby Courtney is a young woman who knows her mind and how to use it, knows her heart and how to honor it. She has found meaning in teaching others to bring music to the world, as she brought to ours, always and forever, the second we looked into those navy blue eyes.
For guiding us into loving like we never have, for showing us the meaning of parenting by heart, for helping us greet our instincts, and for showing us that what we needed to know, we knew before we met you, I have two words for you, Courtney Dollface, and they aren't Happy Birthday.
They are, thank you.