Monday, August 31, 2009

LACY B'S BIRTHDAY!

Lacy Baylen…
Today is my daughter's birthday.
She is my one and only child, and I love her with all my heart. Of all the many blessings I've been given in this life—blessings more wonderful and numerous than I could ever deserve—Lacy is the greatest. No father ever had a finer daughter…and no daughter ever filled her father's heart with greater pride, or his life with such joy. There is not a day goes by that I don't thank God for the gift of her in my life.
While some memories age and fade with time, others remain as sharp and clear as the instant they became etched into your being. I can recall holding Lacy within moments of her birth—a squirming, ruddy infant, impossibly tiny, who grew suddenly still in my uncertain grasp and stared back at me with blue eyes the exact same shade as my father's. I was instantaneously melted and transformed by a love so fierce and deep I would have done anything to protect her from harm. Walk through a wall of fire? Sure! Stand in front of an onrushing train? You bet! Step into a cage filled with hungry lions? Just swing wide that door! I was absolutely poleaxed by parenthood. From that second on I would have laid down my life in a heartbeat, paid any price to keep her safe and make her life better…and I still would.
Any man who says parental love shouldn't change him so fundamentally, has simply never opened his heart and soul, never allowed this new-born love to explode inside; never loved his child more than he loves himself. It ceases completely to be about you the very second your child enters the world. Or it did with me, anyway.
Lacy is named after my father. Her middle name is Baylen, which I invented…then made up a story to justify, which I told to her as a child, about an Irish princess of that name who lived in a magical world which lay somewhere between the fantasy realms of Wind in the Willows and The Hobbit, with a bit of Uncle Remus and Beatrix Potter thrown in for good measure. I don't think she was overjoyed at this one-of-a-kind middle name when she reached school age—but she now claims she's back to liking it. I hope so. And yeah, I'd probably do it again, though I'd give it at least one more day's thought beforehand.
We had a celebration for Lacy's birthday on Saturday evening, so she could have dinner at her favorite restaurant. But today is the actual day when the wheel resounds its annual click. That darling little girl is still blue-eyed, only now she's a lovely lady, a year shy of being a-score-and-a-half years old. And I'm sure she's thrilled I put that fact right here on Riverdaze for one and all to read! (Okay, I promise not to tell your age next year.)
Lacy and her husband Dave, at Saturday's dinner.
Dave starts a new job today—so along with birthday
wishes for my daughter, I want to wish my favorite
son-in-law good luck…and to say
how proud I am of him and his accomplishments.
Frankly, though, the way I see it, fathers ought to be allowed certain leeway in regards to recounting a daughter's birthday—because nothing makes a father feel older than watching his beloved daughter grow into a beautiful woman; birthday's remind us of the duality of time's passage, and how it can be both gratifying and poignant.
Not that time could ever lessen fatherly love and pride.
Happy Birthday!
I love you Lacy Baylen. I'm so proud of who you are and the person you've become. I am humbled by your accomplishments. You have enriched my life with more happiness and joy than you can imagine. Gave me a reason to live. Shared countless adventures, and hours of laughter. I treasure the memories past, and look forward to those ahead. No father has ever been more blessed. I wish you all good things and a long life where love prevails.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
XOXOXO

31 comments:

Wanda said...

Speaking here as a daughter myself...you just gave your daughter the gift of and for a life time...and Lacy Baylen herself...is a gift to you as well. You are both blessed!

Happy Birthday Lacy Baylen!

giggles said...

Edit this remark out, please... "Laby" B's birthday?? CHeck your header???

Now: my real remark: How lovely she is, really beautiful!! And how wonderful to share so publically your unabashed pride and joy in her....

Happy Birthday!!!! And many more... Good luck to Dave, too... ( I will anxiously await new job updates...personal stake ya know?)

Wanda said...

I forgot to mention how beautiful Lacy and her smile are. She and Dave make a wonderful looking couple too...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Thank you! She is a lovely lady…and just as pretty on the inside—bubbly, warm, with a wonderful heart.

And a gift, indeed!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Sorry—you can't edit a comment so far as I know (at least I can't.)

But that's okay, Lacy knows me for what I am, having watched me fall off porches and do a thousand stupid klutzy things every month. She well knows I can't read unless I take my socks off. Forgetting to edit/check a blog title would be par for the course.

Why, once upon a time, when she was about in kindergarten or maybe the first grade, I made some remark while driving her home from school about a sign across this storefront window which read: CAR PET. "What's a car pet?" I wondered aloud, thinking it might be some new stuffed animal fad for your vehicles or something. My sweet, little, high-IQ daughter looked at my as if were a cretin and said—very slowly, but loud, in case I needed time and volume to help process and grasp the answer: "Dad, you idiot, it says CARPET, like a rug. They just split the word up because of the door!"

I rest my case….

So thank you for not allowing me to look the fool for very long in front of too many readers…even though I am.

And thank you for your nice words. Trust me, on this father/daughter thing, I got the better deal. And that includes Dave, too.

Rowan said...

What a wonderful tribute to your daughter who looks a beautiful woman both inside and out. She has the most beautiful radiant smile. I'm sure she loves her dad as much as he loves her. Happy birthday Lucy B!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

Thank you. She is a delightful, beautiful, wonderful daughter, inside and out.

Jenn Jilks said...

That is so much fun, Griz! My baby turned 30 this year. We did a fake cake wreck . (her favourite blog aside from mine- which she reads at work during her lunch break!)for fun...
It's not so much that you love your daughter, as I do, but that you tell her how much and why, as I do! That means a great deal to them! I know, having lost both my parents. It is a bond and a connection that is so strong.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

One thing I truly believe…that if we love someone, we ought to say so. Often. Every change we get.

Why those words are so difficult for most people to utter is something I really don't understand. My mother and father both told me they loved me, almost daily. My Grandmother Williams did, even after she had a stroke and couldn't speak clearly. My aunts did, too. Grandpa, and various uncles would clap me on the back, or give me a hug, and tell me how much they cared about me.

Saying "I love you" came easy among our family members. It's the reason why our family was always so close. And growing up, it meant something to me, included me in that warm, sheltered, understanding and caring circle, because I always knew they meant what they said.

I think it's vital for a child to know, from early on, that if he messes up, makes a mistake, perhaps has to be punished for his actions in some way, that none of it affects his parents' love for him. Correction, even anger, doesn't negate or change their love.

And as your child grows up, you need to love and praise them whenever possible. They need to know, as teenagers, young adults, and right on that you care about them and take pride and pleasure for the person they've become. You never outgrown the need for love.

Love is the bond that holds people together, the positive glue of families and lives. It's truly important to say I love you to those who light up the darkness in your heart.

KGMom said...

Scribe--Lacy is a stunning beauty. All I have to go on as to your looks is the little profile pic...um, I think she got her looks elsewhere. Just kidding.
As a daughter, I can say that nothing is more precious to a young woman growing up than the unqualified love & support of her father. I was fortunate to have that.
And obviously Lacy has your love and support.
As the mother of a young woman, about to be married, I can say that nothing is more comforting to a parent's heart than the fact that your child has found her mate.
So, happy birthday, Lacy--and happy new job, Dave.

Jain said...

I believe the sign of a great gift is uncontrollable blubbering from the recipient, and I’ll wager Lacy lost it when she read your post.

Happy birthday, Lacy! And best wishes, Dave, on your new gig.

Gail said...

DEAR PROUD DAD - GRIZZ -
Lacy is SO beautiful - so vibrant and she looks SO happy. I am thrilled by your words about her - a tribute to all that is purposeful between a father and a daughter - you and she are so very lucky to share such a genuine and deeply loving relationship. I bow to you both with tears of true joy and elation - as I smile from ear to ear for all that is life-giving in your lives.

Love and honor
Gail
peace.....

Bernie said...

Grizz, I had tears in my eyes as I read your post. Your love and pride for your daughter in this birthday tribute is as beautiful as anything I have ever read.
She is beautiful, and I am sure as beautiful inside....you are a wonderful dad and I am sure she loves you just as much as your love is for her, so Happy Birthday Lacy Baylen and may you always be loved as you are today.
Good Luck to Dave with his new job and how lucky is he to have such a wonderful father in law. They are really a handsome couple....
Take care my friend, you are pretty special yourself....:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Well, you're doubtless right on the looks department…not terribly tactful, but right. She does, however, have my sense of humor, and is probably the only student in the history of the school she attended to have a note from one teacher on her report card (straight As, K through 12, BTW) saying she was "overly joyful in class."

I have always supported Lacy, always been her biggest fan—and always meant it…just as my parents did for me. And you're right, that is so very important.

I also do believe Lacy and Dave are each other's right person. And I'm very glad they found one another and are carving out a good life together.

When is it again your daughter is to be married?

And thank you, really, for your lovely words.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

I'll have to get back to you on the blubbering.

But thank you very, very much.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I appreciate your comments a great deal. Thank you. Because of the way we lived our lives together, and simply because we're so very much alike, we were always close. But as a parent, I can tell you honestly, she was easy to raise, easy to love, and always a blessing—more so, I'm sure, than I was as her parent. I got the best deal.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Lacy is so very pretty, and so gentle and bubbly and personable…but more than all that is her spirt and courage and honor. She's a good and compassionate person with a heart of gold. That's what makes her so special to me.

Lacy and Dave are a fine-looking couple—and a good match, because Dave is also a fine man. I'm proud to have him as my son-in-law.

Thank you for your beautiful comments.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: you are a very lucky man to have Lacy B. in your life.

Carolyn h.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am sure after reading that wonderful tribute to your daughterm Scribe, that she is every bit as proud of you as you are of her.

Jayne said...

Awwwww.... a happy, happy birthday to Lacy Baylen. The love and pride you feel simply bursts off the page. :c)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

I am lucky, blessed, and forever grateful. Thank you…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I'm not sure there's enough pride left…I believe I've used most of it up on my gal! Thank you, though. :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Love and pride burst off the page because I simply can't contain it—and because such things should be said and written right out loud!

Thank you!

Jain said...

Well, Scribe, did she cry over your post? (I certainly would have.)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Your answer is the next post…

Jain said...

... which I read and I sincerely hope Lacy has a rapid recovery.

I guess my interest in her reaction stems from my reaction to MY dad. He didn't utter "I love you" till his days were numbered and I'd entered my third decade. A stoic, generational thing, I guess. Quite an emotional moment, it was.

Whether she absorbed the reading in the hospital or comes back later to catch up, there's no doubt she'll be touched and honored.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jaine…

I appreciate your nice words and concern. And I'm sorry you had to wait so very, very long—until it was nearly too late—to hear your father tell you he loved you. I don't know if it's a generational things, a guy thing, or just that people grow up thinking such matters shouldn't actually be spoken aloud.

My family never had trouble saying I love you to one another. I've been around other families—many of them—who are equally forthcoming…and I've been around men and women who never say it to one another, their parents, or their kids. I think that heartbreaking—to all involved. Love grows when you pass it back and forth—the words, the gestures, the affirmations.

I'm so glad for you—late as it was in coming—that at least you finally had that…and I hope it filled some space inside. Thank you so much for sharing this. I take it as a real compliment.

Brenda said...

Hi Grizz,
Your tribute to your beautiful daughter was wonderful. The births of our children changes our lives forever. What is special is that you took the time to write about it and let her know just how much her life has meant to you. Lovely. I'm sure she treasured every word. Hope Lacy is feeling better and that Dave's job went well.
Cheers,
Brenda

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Brenda…

Thank you for you nice comment. Sorry to be so slow in answering…I've been out all day.

Children do, indeed, change our lives forever. And I wouldn't trade being a parent, or my sweet and lovely daughter, for all the riches on earth. Children are the ultimate legacy, and the the most wonderful blessing.

Lacy is feeling better, though she's not yet fully over her ordeal. Still, doing good—for which I'm most thankful.

Kathiesbirds said...

I have nothing to say. I'm too choked up! Your daughter has a wonderful smile and she is fortunate to have a father like you! I hope she is feeling better.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kathiesbirds…

Thank you. She is feeling much better. And I'm the lucky one to have had such a lovely and wonderful daughter.