A new baby has entered our family circle today. Her name is Elizabeth Rose. Today, on her first official breathing in of the air of the planet, I dedicate this prayer to Elizabeth's first day on earth.
Elizabeth, may you always know that warm hands will hold you, strong and steady people will be there to pull you up if you fall, help you take your first steps, give you your first bites of sweetness, and teach you how to look up and out into the world. Perhaps at the stars.
You'll know the sound of your grandmother's, grandfather's and great-grandmother's and great-grandfather's laughter. You'll feel their kisses, and their joy in holding you in their arms.
You'll sense the bright sharp wind cooling the summer heat as you race across the lake in a summer that feels like spring. You will learn how to swim across that lake and become part of an even larger circle of family, friends, and generations older than your great grandmother.
You will overeat at least one perfectly made cherry pie. You will not be able to enumerate the number of lumpias you will eat. You will have at least one bite of great grampa's trifle, and maybe, if you're lucky, Felicia will teach you how to bake cookies. You might even win a prize doing so.
All these sweet pleasures of the world are immediately available. And you will dream. Of flowers, birds, sunlight and fishes. You will imagine incredible things, and one day, do them all. You will make your own dreams come true. And remember, more than anything, know that you are welcome in this, our world.
Glad to have you here at last.