Sunday, January 30, 2011

Living with Liseanne

It was 23 years ago today that she came kicking and hollering into the world. She was early. Two weeks early. Her father and I were just putting the finishing touches on the painted walls of her bedroom. We weren't in any hurry. Her sister had been 19 days late. We were pretty sure she would follow suit.

How silly. Really. Like we thought they'd be the same? That one would be just like the other. I doubt I've ever been so grateful for being so wrong in my life.

They are both unique. Both so different. Both so miraculous and shining and wonderful and beautiful and amazing. Exactly the way they are. Exactly as themselves. They are my daughters and today is the day we celebrate Liseanne's entry into the world.

It was on this day, 23 years ago, the wondrous and mysterious ride called "Living with Liseanne" began.

My water had broken earlier that morning. I hadn't said anything to their dad. I just sort of thought I'd wait.

Wait until what? my doctor had asked me later in the day when I'd called to tell him my water had broken.

Oh, I don't know. To see if I got any contractions. For the nurses strike to end.

The nurses had been on strike for two weeks. I didn't really want to deliver while the hospital was short staffed. Under stress. Under the blight of a strike.

And I'd wanted to see if maybe, just maybe this time my feminine powers would translate into real, just like the books said, birthing pains.

Nope. No such luck. Five hours after calling my doctor and his order that I 'get to the hospital', I was asleep and under the knife. Their dad was the first one to hold her. To see her. To witness her presence in this world.

Because of the strike I couldn't have an epidural and their father couldn't be in the operating room. But it didn't matter. There she was, perfect and beautiful and wondrous. Waiting to greet me when I awoke. Eyes wide. Arms outstretched. Looking around, curious and inquisitive and 'happy'.

Just as she's been waiting to greet me so many mornings of her life.

When she was little and still in her crib, I'd tiptoe into her room, just to see if she was awake, and there she would be sitting, wide eyed, looking around, a pre-verbal grin on her face, a gurgle of mirth escaping her lips. She'd stretch out her arms, I'd pick her up and she would laugh and squirm and want to be released to 'get on with her day'.

It is how she goes through life. Has always gone through life. Sensitive. Kind. Gentle and fierce. Protector of the underdog. Fighter for the downtrodden. And always eager to 'get on with her day'.

She didn't like being held facing in. Always wanted to be looking out. She didn't like sitting in one spot for long, always wanted to check out the options, check out what was on the other side of that closed door.

It was always hard to keep up to Liseanne. She skipped crawling, rolled instead, as quickly as she could and then when she'd had enough of rolling, stood up and started running. Her sister used to worry all the time that she would get hurt. "Mum, stop her," she'd say. And I would smile and take a breath and say, "She's okay, honey. It's just her way of checking out the world."

It was her way.

And she's still doing it. Checking out the world. Running. Into life. Arms and heart wide open. Embracing everything that comes her way. Making life happen, her way.

It didn't really matter what life delivered, Liseanne would take it in her stride. Oh sure, sometimes, she faltered. Like when I was missing and she and her sister feared they'd never see me again. She was frightened and angry. Very, very angry. But the anger was nothing compared to her Love. Because, Lele, as we call her at home, forgave and let go and embraced me and said, I love you and has kept on loving and laughing and sharing the beauty of her spirit without restraint, without hesitation confident that no matter what happens in life, she is okay. She is a miraculous being of light, making the world alright for everyone.

Even when last year after she'd had a seizure and she was in hospital in Holland and I called and talked with her. "I'm okay mom. No sense coming over now. Ryan [her boyfriend] will be here next week. I'm okay."

And she is. Beyond okay. She is miraculous. Incredible. Amazing.

She is my youngest daughter. Fierce and loving. Wild and soft. She stands up when others would fall. She runs when others would crawl. She fights for what is right. She protects those who have been wronged. She laughs when others would cry. She loves when others would hate. She is kind and caring. Funny and witty. Sharp as a tack, she cuts through the bull and finds the gift in every situation showing others how to shine for themselves. She makes people laugh. Gives people permission to be themselves. To be their best because, for Liseanne, there is no other option in life. Being her best is why she's here.

It is her way.

Twenty-three years ago today, Liseanne burst into this world and began her journey of life. I am so blessed to be part of it, to share in the awe and joy of her life unfolding into wonder.

Happy Birthday Lele. You are a child of light, of love, of wonder. A Divine creation of amazing grace. Thank you for giving me the gift of being part of the amazing story of "Living with Liseanne".


Maureen said...

Have a wonderful day of celebration with your beautiful Liseanne.

Anonymous said...


my 2nd born ... also a typical rebellious 2nd born, has many of the traits you describe

frustrating at moments - for me, and for her, but precious moments, everyone of them

happy 23rd anniversary of pushing her into the world



Brandi said...

Happy birthday to your girl - she sounds pretty special!

Glynn said...

Happy birthday to Liseanne - but does than mean you were four when she was born? She's your sister, right?

Anonymous said...

Wishing Lele a beautiful birthday week full of love, life and laughter!
Love to you all!
BA xo

Anonymous said...

god bless u in abundance. happy birthday lele.


JTS said...

Such a beautiful birthday tribute to who must be an exceptional young woman by all you describe! She is so blessed to have a mother who appreciates all that she is and provides such strong affirmation. I bet she knows that! :-) Happy birthday indeed! (And don't they grow up way too fast?)