Elder Daughter’s first day on Planet Earth: May 11, 1979.
Today represents a Lifecycle Milestone for us at Chez Elisson... for today, Elder Daughter is thirty years old.
Me and my shadow: Elder (then Only) Daughter in Atlanta, 1981... when I was only twenty-nine.
My own thirtieth birthday does not seem all that long ago. How in the world did it come to this - me, the father of someone who is, technically, in (Very) Early Middle Age? It boggles the mind.
Am I feeling sorry for myself? Feeling the passage of time? Not at all. The passage of time is a natural thing, and the only way to not feel it is to become defunct. I am perfectly happy to experience as much Time-Passage as Fate, Star, and Pneuma will allow.
And yet, it makes you think.
Elder Daughter’s path in life - the sum total of her experiences to date - is different from what mine was at her age. She is still aloof and independent at thirty; by then, I was married with two (count ’em!) daughters, and was living in our third house. (In Atlanta, as it happens.) She has lived overseas (twice!); and she has traveled the world, well on the way to surpassing me in terms of number of countries visited.
I have accumulated thirty years of memories with her, some of the most enjoyable being of our trip to Japan thirteen months ago. It was a special father-daughter experience. And even as I write this, she is creating an equally special mother-daughter experience with She Who Must Be Obeyed on their trip to Arizona. It’s what she wanted for her Big Birthday, and how could I not agree wholeheartedly?
The Grand Canyon, as captured by SWMBO Sunday afternoon on her iPhone.
She has wisdom beyond her three-decade span, our Elder Daughter. She is a keen observer of human nature, blessed with the common sense and clear vision of her mother. Her work - her profession, her Day Job - is more than a way to pay the rent; it is her way of repairing the world in accordance with the principle of tikkun olam, a principle very close to her heart. And yet she finds time to indulge her playful and creative side, producing shows and performing. A real Renaissance Lady, she.
I have told her that she is the kind of person I would want to know even were she not my own child... and I mean it. Deeply.
Elder Daughter in Japan, April 2008.
Elder Daughter, I love you. I wish for you the best birthday ever... and with your wonderful Mom at your side, how can you miss?