Tomorrow, August 16, my middle child, my daughter, turns eight. She is my Shabbos Nachamu baby who "disrupted" what was supposed to be a restful, peaceful Shabbos eight years ago. But the disruption was a welcome one, and when she was born about 20 minutes before Shabbos was out, I piped up, "I fished my wish."
Since I was a child, and the only girl in a family with two older brothers, I'd always hoped for a daughter. I'd also especially wanted a little girl so that I could give her the name of a cherished younger sister of my father who was a victim of the Holocaust.
My husband and I were blessed with this daughter of mine.
From a young age, she was beautiful but feisty. Her luring kitten-blue eyes could entice you or could shoot sparks of fire your way. At the tender age of about 2 1/2, she stood on playground equipment and announced to grade 1 schoolgirls, "You no go on slide; A--- go on slide." She stood her ground, and I could just picture her in a leather jacket, collar up, a cigarette dangling from the side of her mouth, the leader of a girl gang from the fifties.
But she is indeed anything but. She is a gentle, loving and generous friend, daughter and sister, always looking out for other people -- she is attracted to children of all ages, and people of all ages are attracted to her. Her feistiness shines through every now and again with family members, and we are helping to direct her to recognize that there is a time and place for feistiness.
I love to watch her when she's not looking my way, and I sit in awe of this wondrous (poo, poo, poo) beauty; she has this "je ne sais quoi" about her -- this childlike elfin quality with the coyness of a grown woman; only, she doesn't use this coyness wittingly; it is just a part of who she is.
She does not like attention, nor praise, nor compliments -- a true Aishet Chayil in training. She does not want to draw attention to herself -- unless she's telling a story. Then it's details galore that rush out of her mouth, such as the retelling of her nighttime dreams, details and all, almost sounding as if they're miniseries that she's making up as she goes along.
This evening she was showing me how to Hoola Hoop. This little child was encouraging me, telling me, "You can do it...I'll show you an easy way." And she beamed when I spun that Hoola Hoop around my waist....ONCE. "Yay, you did it!" This from a kid who could shimmy that hoop from her shoulders to her ankles for endless minutes. This child beamed for and praised her mother just as a mother would praise her child.
Together we laughed in delight as we enjoyed our silly venture in a fad of days gone by...one I'd never mastered, but that she certainly has.
I wish this sweet daughter of mine continued good health, happiness and a peaceful world to grow up in. May she continue on the course of being an Aishet Chayil, may she maintain her feistiness, her charm, her beauty and her natural curiosity about the world around her...because the world around her is certainly curious about her.
May she continue to represent her first and middle names well, because they are very much a part of who and what she is to us and those around her.
Happy Birthday, "Motek"!