Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Jewel, My Daughter

My daughter turned 18 today. I honestly don't know what to say about that. She's the best thing that has ever happened to me in this lifetime of mine. A godsend, a blessing, a stroke of sheer good fortune, a gift. She's beautiful. On the inside and the outside. Since the day she arrived, she has never ceased to amaze me. In the early weeks of her birth, she used to sleep on my chest, like a kitten. One night I woke up, aware that I was being watched. There she was, wide awake, her huge eyes gazing at me. I gazed back. In that look, these thoughts were exchanged: isn't this amazing? isn't this hilarious? that I am here as your baby and you are my mother? And we both started to laugh, real belly laughs, baby and mother, at the great cosmic joke of it. Then I fell back asleep again. There have been many more laughs since. As a toddler, as a tweenie, and now as a teenager, she had and has a brilliant sense of humour, plus that Irish knack for mimicking. I am often in stitches. Only last year we fell around the kitchen laughing, after a brief chat about the Irish national anthem. She knows it in Irish and I, in English. But when I mentioned the phrase "some have come from that land beyond the waves" and commented on what an oblique reference it was to the ancient enemy, England, her eyes widened. "What? I thought it was about Tír na nOg! And the fairies coming to Ireland." Well, we were sick laughing. Only an Irish kid would think that fairies would be mentioned in their national anthem. Mind you, she can be Canadian, too, and likes to play it up with her friends. She has the accent down pat, and is fluent in French as well as Irish. Okay, now I am bragging. Happy Birthday, a stór!

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