Monday, September 12, 2011

Peanut grows up


So serious
Laval, QC, July 2011

She was just born yet she's already an accomplished, confident young woman. She was a tiny little thing, yet now she fills a room with her spirit by simply walking through the door. She quietly made friends with everyone in pre-school just as easily as she settled into her first week of high school. And as our daughter, Dahlia, turns 14 today, I find myself wondering how she went from that to this so quickly that I fear I'm missing the journey.

She's "Dali" to us, a delightful, engaging, whip-smart, limitlessly kind template of my wife. She's "Dal" to her best friend, and is the kind of friend who I wish everyone had a chance to have at least once in a lifetime. I still call her "Peanut" because that's what she looked like in her first ultrasound. And I know it drives her crazy - especially when I use the term outside the house - so I'm doing my best to cut back.

Whatever we call her, it's hard to imagine what our family would be like without her. Of course, we say that about all of our kids, as each of them brings such a remarkable sense of uniqueness to this little world of ours. But today is Dahlia's day, and as I think about what makes her her, and how that her-ness makes us that much more us-like, I'm reminded of how much joy she manages to inject into the little things we do every day. The conversations in the car as I bring her home from a program, the banter on the walks to the grocery store, the sound of her voice when she talks to the dog. She makes all of these seemingly routine slices of the day seem better, somehow.

No surprise, of course, as that's the way my wife's always been. Gentle, empathetic, sweet, spine made of titanium, attitude as sharp as a tack, a laugh from the depths of her soul. Little moments matter to her, and the needs of others always seem to take precedence over her own. We've been blessed by her for 14 years, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what she does with the years she has ahead of her.

Happy birthday, maidel. May you continue to go from strength to strength.

10 comments:

Barry R. Silver said...

Yom Hulidet Sameach. A lovely tribute to someone described as a lovely daughter. Great perspective as a parent. May you go from happy to happier and grow from strength to strength.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Happy birthday to your 'peanut'! and many more.... I see you in her- she's got your eyes Carmi... may she get her birthday wish-whatever it may be.

Claudia P. said...

Carmi, with what I just read, you are definitely living the journey and not missing a minute of it! Happy Birthday to your daughter :)

fredamans said...

Happy birthday darling Dahlia!

daisy said...

Happy Birthday Dahlia. My husband stil calls our 27 year old daughter peanut...as do most of his friends because that's all they've really heard her called (by him). Secretly she really loves it and I suspect so does your peanut.

Karen S. said...

Oh this journey has so many stops and twists yet to travel..You've only yet begun....may they live on and on..Happy birthday to your Dahlia and hold on on peanut for today, but you know many years from now she'll probably smile at the mention of peanut...trust me.!!!

Titanium said...

Wishing Dali a very, very Happy Birthday! What a beautiful tribute you've shared, here- all the more so, because her life reflects all that you and her mother have invested in her.

Barb said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia! What a beautiful tribute your dad wrote for you to share with all of us. You might cringe a little and even blush when he calls you "Peanut" and gushes like only a father can do, but, trust me, these will be the memories you cherish most as you grow older. Give your dad a hug, say "I love you", then get him good on his birthday!

MorahMommy said...

She's one special young lady. She certainly makes her mommy and daddy proud!
xoxo

Alexia said...

Such a lovely tribute - for a lovely young woman. Happy birthday, Dali (if I'm too familiar, I'm sorry. Your Dad's empathetic writing makes us all feel we 'know' you)

I've been meaning to ask, Carmi - how is Frasier??