Friday, July 11, 2014

Ode to My Daughter on her Bat Mitzvah

What can I tell you about my daughter, Marie-Claire Isabella Goldfarb?
I can tell you about her brilliance, her beauty, and her talent.
But what I most want to tell you about is her loving and generous heart.

Macie is the kind of girl who insists on finding out about your day before telling you about hers.
She is the kind of girl who goes out of her way to communicate with people so they don't get their feelings hurt or feel left out.
She is the kind of girl who speaks sweetly to little children,
who rush up to and ask her for hugs and attention.

They all know her name.

Macie has always had a mind of her own since before she was even born.
Macie was scheduled to arrive in this world via C-section on a Tuesday.
But, Macie, in a move that would prove to be true to her form,
decided she would rather make her debut on Monday instead.

It has pretty much been that way ever since.

Now I knew in my heart before Macie was even born,
the way that a mother just knows,
that Macie would be a beautiful and highly intelligent little ballerina girl.
My husband of course was convinced we were having a boy.

That's why they call it "MOTHER'S intuition."

We couldn't confirm Macie's gender before she was born, of course,
Because again Macie decided not to cooperate during sonograms.
She would sit in such a way that we could never verify what or who she would be.
She was going to come into this world in her own time and in her own way.
Upon being born, the doctor placed Macie in my arms.

My very first words to her were, "So when are we going to start ballet lessons?"

I actually would have accepted it completely
if Macie had decided to be a soccer or softball player or gymnast
instead of a dancer.
However, Macie was dancing as soon as she was moving
and had perfect rhythm from the start.
It's not like I made her be a dancer.

I think we have already established that Macie does everything on her own terms.

What I also love about my daughter is her dedication and determination.
Macie is determined to do an excellent job in all of her endeavors.
She works very hard at whatever she sets her mind to.

Macie has consistently been a straight A student
even though she claims she doesn't like school.

She doesn't have to be told to do her homework.
She just does it.

She didn't have to be told to practice for her bat mitzvah.
She just did it.

She DOES have to be told to help with the laundry, however.
Although sometimes she WILL surprise me.

Everybody loves Macie.

She goes out of her way to be nice to people and reach out to those around her.
Younger children gather around her.
Older teens enjoy her company.
Her friends' parents like having her around because she is so polite
and because she will carry on a conversation with them
as if THEY were people TOO.

Macie is very sensitive and empathic.
She has a natural way with animals as well as people.
A few summers ago we went to a horse ranch in Wyoming.
Macie was by far the best one of us at controlling her horse.
There was even a contest in who could get the most cattle in the pen.
Macie, of course, got all of the cattle penned in no time.

We also call Macie "The Dog Whisperer"
because she is the one who can get the dogs to do anything.
Dogs won't walk? Macie will get them moving.
Dogs won't eat? Macie will coax them into eating the whole bowl of kibble.

Macie claims she does NOT want to be a lawyer when she grows up.
Yet Macie makes the most well thought out and articulated arguments
as to why she should get one special privilege or another.
Sometimes I grant her request just because she has made such a wonderfully coherent
and well-reasoned argument that I can't bring myself to deny her.

I am not sure what Macie will do with her life,
but I am pretty certain it will be something amazing.
What I want most for her is to live life authentically
and on her own terms.

I don't think we have anything to worry about.

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