Thursday, January 7, 2016

First baby, first a lot of things

Courtney Elizabeth Bonifant Watson Dollface,
Birthday girl of my heart
When Courtney Elizabeth Bonifant Watson Dollface was born thirty years ago, after a labor that was several years longer than I'd expected, I had two thoughts other than, "Wow, they weren't kidding about how much THAT hurts."

The first was that life as I'd known it now seemed behind me, a large room I'd exited in which the shades had been mostly, but not completely raised. Life had been a place I'd learned to navigate with my own welfare at the center of my travels.

But this – this new life was wide, brilliant and brighter. Anything was possible in this travel and my own welfare stepped right up and said, "I'm all set, give her my place." 

The other came later on when I realized I believed in God after all. I had no formal take on God, I wasn't feeling the robe and beard and walking stick kind of God, I had to make God up in my head. But I propped my tiny baby against my knees, stared into her drifty, navy blue eyes, and promised her everything in my power to protect her. From my heart, slipped a word aimed at something bigger than both of us, which was, "Please." 

There was no scary roar, the walls didn't shake, it wasn't like when Endora was mad at Darrin. Nor was it like the time I put my hands together as a child, closed my eyes and asked God to turn me into a cat for a day. God didn't respond with "Please what?" My God just went straight to the business of quid pro quo: 

Every minute of my life, I would love this being with my own, and in turn, I would find answers to questions in my head of how and what and what-if inside that big, brand new love in my heart.

Today, my tiny Dollface is thirty. I have asked my God more times than I can count to help me trust that she is safe when she's far away, that she's happy when I can't consult her eyes for proof, that she'll be strong in times of conflict, and that she'll know each minute of every day that she is loved for the brilliant, bright being that she is.

"Noted," says my God when I ask, because my God remembers that day like I do, when we all met.

Happy Birthday, my girl.

You are loved like you read about.


  1. Ab(sob)solutely beautiful...BIG sob!

  2. My stars what a beautiful post. Happy belated birthday to your gorgeous daughter.

    1. Julie, thanks so much. From you, that is some kind of compliment.

  3. Hi Susan! That was a magical paragraph - where you had your God moment. I love to think we see God where it's least expected or fully expected. I would think we *should* see him in the seconds old eyes of a just born child. The fact you recognized it is extraordinary.

    My own daughter will be 34 next month, my son 35, and their lives intertwine with mine perfectly, as I always hoped, with a refreshing glimpse of my influence on them here and there.

    I loved this post.

    1. Donna, thank you for those lovely words about this post. I loved writing it.