Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For Phoebe Linnea...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Today is the day that Phoebe Linnea turns 11 years old (in fact, the hour of her birth has already passed). We commemorated it with strawberry shortcake, hugs and kisses, and big, fat smiles. Later today a half-dozen girls will come to the farm for a birthday party--we're hoping the rain will go away before party time. But it won't dampen things even if it's pouring.

Phoebe and Liam like to dress up like movie stars.

Phoebs was game to dress up like an owl for the OOS Owl Symposium last winter.

At 11, Phoebe is many things: Budding naturalist and bird watcher, excellent artist, spelling bee champ, fast-improving softball player, practical joker, excellent (usually) big sister to Liam, fashion maven, music aficionado, and dog lover.
Her "da" likes to take her on trips to faraway lands.

A family birding trip near Magdalena, New Mexico.

We look at her and can't believe this is the same tiny thing we nervously brought home from the hospital just over a decade ago. She was so bright and shiny (with red hair to boot) that we called her "New Penny."

In the months leading up to and immediately following Phoebe's birth, I was hard at work writing my very first book, Bird Watching For Dummies. I'd often give Phoebe her late bottle of milk and then head down to the basement guest room to write during the quiet hours.
When I got done writing the book, I felt as though Phoebe had been there with me the entire time.

And so the only dedication that seemed appropriate was:

For Phoebe, my favorite little bird.
This is Avis, an orphaned eastern phoebe that Julie and (human) Phoebe raised and released.

Some nights during Phoebe's first year, I'd stay up watching "baby TV," gazing into her big blue eyes, which even then seemed to be windows into a very wise, old soul. In my entire life I've never felt so at peace as when Phoebe would fall asleep on my chest while I sat in my big gray recliner, rocking gently.

"The magic chest" Julie called it. And it seemed to fit--on those rare occasions when nothing else would calm Phoebe, I'd put her head on my chest and hum to her softly. She'd quiet down and drift off to see the Sandman.
She can be a woman of leisure when she wants to be.

And now she's all "growed" up. But every so often, (and not often enough for me) we have a nice cuddle just like we used to.
Dancing with Daddy at a wedding.

Happy birthday, sweet Phoebe! You make me (and us all) so proud!

All too soon, our Phoebe will be fledging. As you might guess, we're in no rush to see her go.


On July 11, 2007 at 2:49 PM Trixie said...

Happy Birthday, Phoebe. You are an amazing young woman, blessed with a loving, smart and interesting family.

Good job, daddy.

On July 11, 2007 at 9:38 PM Susan said...

Happy birthday Phoebe!

On July 12, 2007 at 6:25 AM Jayne said...

What a beautiful birthday tribute post to a beautiful girl by such a proud da.

On July 12, 2007 at 9:03 AM Mary said...

Very nice tribute to a special young lady. You did a great job!

On July 12, 2007 at 3:32 PM Rondeau Ric said...

What an amazing family to grow up in.
Best wishes Phoebe.


On July 15, 2007 at 11:04 PM Born Again Bird Watcher said...

A very happy belated birthday to Phoebe!

May you be happy, content and fulfilled.
May you be healed and whole.
May you always have whatever you want and need.
May you be protected from harm and free from fear
May you enjoy inner peace and ease.
May you be awakened, liberated, and free.
May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe.

On July 30, 2007 at 7:42 AM Emily  said...

Thank you for bringing such nice posts. Your blog is always fascinating to read.