a two hour delay and a brilliant sunrise heralds the morning of my youngest daughter's birth. born under jupiter's sunny star, libby's conception corresponds with the sale of my first novel. there's a lot of my mother in libby - enough so that i see in her some of my mother's wounded places. it helped me to understand both of them, because in libby i have a child profoundly different from myself, and from my other daughters.
what libby shares with me is a capricorn moon. a capricorn moon suggests a troubled maternal relationship, that something necessary to the child was lacking in the mother. it is a wounding i have tried to alleviate.
like her brother, libby is one of my extroverts. unlike my first daughter who viewed the world from my arms with cool appraisal, and meg, who viewed it with outright fear, libby reached out to the world in the most endearing way from the time she was old enough to look around and coo. imperturbable in her car seat, she rode around in the back of my mommy-mobile, fascinated by her ever-revolving parade of seat-mates.
she had a few quirks though. she wouldn't sleep anywhere but in her own crib - which meant i had to make sure i was home when libby needed to nap. and she didn't like switching breasts in the middle of a nursing. if she'd been my first i would've been bewildered and probably upset by her behavior but since she was my fourth, i just resigned myself to walking around looking a bit lopsided.
the one trait that she shares with my mother in fullest measure, and that manifesed extremely early, is that libby is Organized. she once showed me her daily schedule, broken down by hour and minute. it included things like 6:15 WAKE UP; 6:20 SHOWER, 6:35 EAT BREAKFAST. most were the normal things you'd expect from the ten year old she was at the time. but sandwiched in between 9:00 BRUSH TEETH and 9:30 BED TIME she had a fifteen minute block devoted to THINK.
i tried not to laugh. there's always been a lot of the little old lady in libby. it is the piece of myself in her that i recognize the most clearly. libby, i said, what is this fifteen minutes for thinking about?
libby looked at me very seriously. mommy, she answered, don't you think this world would be a better place if everyone took fifteen minutes and just thought?
speechless, i bowed to Greater Wisdom.
happy birthday, little libby jo, from the mommy who continues to be dazzled by your light.
and furthermore the war must end. blessed be.