Twenty-five years ago we were at Georgeotwn University Hospital in D.C. where our eldest, Jessamyn, was about to give birth to our first grandchild. Michael, Jessie's husband, was trying his very best to look calm and collected. This is something all expectant fathers try to do, but that none has achieved. Kitty was, as ever, cool and raational. Christina was bubbling over with happiness. Jessie, I suspect, just wanted the darned thkng over with. And me? I was several floors down, giving innsurance information to some accounting nerd. I swear I was down there for only fifteen minuts -- tops. But when I got back upstairs, it was all over.
I got back in time to see a nurse carry out a suspicously tightly-wrapped package and to see everybody was smiling. The package, of course was Ceili who looked as if they were about to enter her in an Olympic swaddling contest. She was quiet, serene, and beautiful. Her eyes were wide-open with wonder and her mouth had a faint hint of a smile (and don't tell me it was gas). She was regal. She had just entered a strange new world that seemed to have been made just for her. She was happy to be here and she was happy just to be.
If there was such a thing as instant bonding, we all felt it that night. And our lives have changed significantly for the better.
That was a quarter of a century ago. She is no longer quiet and serene, although she is still devastatingly beautiful. Quiet does not suit Ceili. There's too much unfairness in the world for her to remain quiet. Ceili is going to yell and fuss and raise a ruckus at thingss that are wrong with this world. Injustice, hatred, and bigotry do not belong in this -- her -- world. Remember, we had gifted her this world twenty-five years ago and she gracefully accepted.
In many ways, Ceili reminds me of that great Malvina Reynolds song. "Quiet":
I don't know much about much,
And what I don't lnow I don't say,
And when I have nothing to say,
When there's occassion to holler I'll buy it.
I can make noise with the best,
But most of the rest of the time
But Ceili isn't that quiet often. She was made to care and she was made to laugh. I love her laughter. It seldom is quiet.
She had many gifts but the most striking is the gift of empathy. Ceili is a caring person and we are proud of her for that.
My advice to the world going forth: You'd better listen to Ceili. She has it right.
Is there any wonder that we love her?