Friday, September 25, 2009

Sadie, Sadie, Little Lady

Sadie has entered my world. Sister to Ruby. Daughter to Mike and Marissa. When I was talking to Mike on the phone I could hear her crying in the background. This new world, this new way of being in the world, must be very frighening for her. But she has her mom and her dad, she has an older sister to show her the way. And, she has already made a small claim to a portion of my heart.

It is time, I think, for wishing.

At one time I would wish that a child would grow up in a world with no hunger, no hurt and no hatred. At one time I would try to imagine a world without prejudice, without stereotypes, without bigotry and bias. At one time, I had the capacity for such fantasies.

But now I wish for Sadie only three things.

I hope that she makes her way courageously in the world. Courageously expressing the essence of what it is to be Sadie. Courageously fighting the need to conform and the need to give in. Courageously expressing the individual spark that makes her Sadie. May she find love as Sadie. May she find joy as Sadie. May she never wish to be another. May she use pretense only in play. May she, now, take a Sadie breath and never forget what that tastes like.

I hope that she will recognize early the wonderful world of diversity. May she cook with cumin. May she read in many languages, sing in many tongues and dance to many rhythms. May she walk beside a wheelchair with comfort, may she always know the sign for 'dreams', may she be comfortable in her own skin and with the skins of others. May she come to understand the difference between cost and value. All things cost. All people have value. May she, once she knows I'm different, love me anyways.

I hope that we who welcome Sadie into our lives. We parents. We siblings. We cousins. Aunts and Uncles. Grandparents. And the odds and sods like Joe and I. May we teach her the breadth of the word family. May we let her learn early to feel secure in the fact that she is loved, she is valued and she is wanted. May one day, when she is 30 and tired, when she is at the end of her rope, may she discover that our hands have weaved her an extra foot or two. That we have stored up enough love, packed into every corner of her heart, she never need fear of running out. May we give her the foundation of knowing love. From this beginning, may Sadie, first crawl, then walk, then run, finally fly ...

I have not yet held you in my arms dear Sadie. You will recognize Joe and I when you meet us. One has a moustache, one is on wheels, but we both have rainbows in our eyes.


Brad said...

Your post brings to mind two poems that were hung on the wall of my parents house.

If, by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


If a Child, by Unknown

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
he learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,
He learns to find love in the world.

Brad said...

I did some digging and found that the last poem was wirtten by Dorothy Louise Law Nolte. (if you're interested)

wendy said...

What a beautiful, new little person. And what a beautiful post, Dave.
Welcome to the world, Sadie!

Anonymous said...

Hello Sadie,

Welcome to the world, to your loving family and a great adventure called life. A big hello from far far away, nevertheless with a real smile.

FridaWrites said...

What a beautiful baby! Happy New Sister Day, Ruby!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, how I would have loved to have someone in my life with rainbows in his eyes when I was young.

Kristin said...

Oh Dave, what a beautiful post and what wonderful wishes for Miss Sadie.

liz said...

Beautiful baby, beautiful post

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sadie--you could never ask for a finer blessing. Welcome to the world!


Susan said...

She is beautiful, Uncle Dave. And a blessed to have you and Uncle Joe looking out for her...

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, it's mike Marissa and Sadie ... I read your blog out loud to Marissa while she was breast feeding Sadie and I broke out in tears. Thank you for being so loving and such good friends (family) we can't wait to leave hospital.

Anonymous said...

how beautiful, bless you

Andrea S. said...

This story is a bit off topic, but the "rainbow in our eyes" bit, and the follow on comment from someone wishing he'd known someone with rainbow eyes as a kid, reminds me of a sweet story I read some years ago. This was, I *think*, maybe somewhere in Alice Walker's autobiography or a book of her essays or something.

Apparently, when she was a little girl, she had an accident with a bb gun that left her blind in one eye and with an obvious mark in her eye (a round scar or something similar). She did retain her sight in the other eye. But she grew up ashamed of the new appearance of her blinded eye. She was sure that everyone could see that new scar in her eye and thought it ugly or unacceptably unusual. For a long time, she walked about without raising her eyes (though apparently people didn't remember that when she asked them years later).

Then she had a small child and wondered what she ought to tell her child on the day the child noticed (I forget now if a son or a daughter). One day, she happens to be talking with her child about the world, showing him/her a globe or pictures etc., so now for the first time s/he has a notion we all live in a spinning ball in space that is a pretty marbled green and blue.

Not long after that they are talking and for some reason s/he suddenly notices that scar in his/her Mommy's eye for the first time and takes Mommy's face into his/her hand looking at it in puzzlement. Now the moment has come. How DOES she explain this scar to her child? Will her child be frightened by it or upset or horrified or disgusted?

After a long moment of studying her eye, the child exclaims in awe and wonder, "You have a world in your eye! However did you get a world in your eye?"

Belinda said...

That is the best ever benediction for a baby. Sadie is blessed to have you in her life to guide, enrich and to play with!

marianne said...


Anonymous said...

What a sweet wish for a new one