Friday, October 21, 2011

Twenty-four Seasons of Love

I remember the day as if it was today...twenty-four years ago it was today. Today is my daughter's Birthday.  Always in my mind, as the Mother of my birthday girl or boy, I think of it as our Birth Day. So many memories go through my mind on these occasions. Of course I go back to the day of their birth and relive those moments. The people that were present in our lives then...both personal and professional. The joy the new little bundle brings to your life. The changes in the family dynamics one teeny tiny little one can introduce! 
We named our daughter Elise. That is my middle name. It was my grandmother's middle name and my great-grandmother's first name. She is Elise Mignon. Little Elise. Cute/precious Elise...whichever interpretation of Mignon you choose to use. We didn't go with the feminine spelling of Mignon...Mignonne. I have a love of the New Orleans born jewelry designer Mignon Faget's creativity and that's where the Mignon came from. When I first came across Mignon Faget she was designing clothes for infants and young children. Now that goes way back in time. So a family tradition continues; mother to daughter; grandmother to granddaughter...mother to daughter. Elise.

Elise was our one and only girl and she came at the end of a long train of 'male cars'...the caboose was our daughter. Yee Hah! The only member of the family not born in Louisiana and very proud of the fact SHE is the natural born Tar Heel! Talk about changes in the family dynamics. 
Prior to the birth of Elise, my husband would worry about leaving me alone when he was heading out the door with all four boys. He'd confide to me if we had a daughter I'd have a companion while he was off slugging fly balls with our sons. I'd just smile my Mona Lisa smile, (oh if I can't have author's liberty to describe my smile who can) and say, "you can't miss what you've never had." 

How naive was I? Elise brings a joy to my life and fills a part of my heart I never knew was empty. Silly and trite as it sounds in movies...'she completes me'. Daughters bring a completion to the circle that was born on the day of their Mother's birth. Or at least that's what my daughter brings to me.
I always worried we would have that time in our lives of the "Mother/Daughter Wars". We didn't. And don't. I mean we aren't always in agreement in everything in life. Foolish little! No, really she has her opinions and they don't always mesh with mine. But we 'get' that it isn't necessary to be one in the same mind to be close. Most relationships that are strong are that way because of the differences as well as the unity of thought.  Soul growth makes for good soul mates. Or so I believe. 
I cherish the fact she is as close to her Dad as she is to me. He doesn't go clothes shopping or check out bargains in the flea market, but then she has me for that! He can talk shop with her when she is working in the design world. He's an engineer and she's got a degree in Interior Architecture and Design. They talk layouts and plans and he's also a softy with his wallet...wink, wink!
 That she and her brothers are equally close pleases me to my very core. There is a Vietnamese proverb about siblings that I always  have loved..."Brothers and Sisters are as close as hands and feet".  When I see my grown children still each others best friends I know I am blessed.

 Again, as with all close relationships they have their differences. As my Mother used to say of her children...'they can squabble like hellions amongst each other but if someone outside the family says or does anything against one of them they unite like an iron fist'! Duck and run for cover...that's my recommendation.
So my little Elise. My heart. My often times companion in crime.
Happy Birthday; happy birth day. And tomorrow when all the family gets together? Oh we'll have a major roof raising fais do-do!

At least that's what your baby, Beignet told me...



Crystal Pistol said...

What a lovely tribute to your daughter. The picture of the 4 large boys in swim trunks and a tiny sister made me smile. I can see that she is an enormous blessing in your life.

Happy birthday to her!

Claudia Moser said...

What a lovely post and what great pictures. You have such a wonderful family. Happy birthday Elise and Sush :)

Ellie said...

Happy Birthday to Elise, hope she has a great day! (that is a lovely name by the way)
That is a lovely tribute to your daughter. With all those brothers she must have been well looked after when she was growing up.
You have a lovely family!!!

orchid said...

Dear Sush,
Happy Birthday to your LOVELY Elise♡♡♡ Well, I don't quite figure out the middle-name sysytem(^^;)
But lovely to take after, isn't it!!!
Blessing to you and all of your marvelous family, xoxo Orchid*

Shelly said...

What a beautiful birthday tribute to your daughter. In looking at the pictures with her brothers, I can bet nobody, but nobody messed with her! She's a gorgeous girl and I wish her oodles and bundles of birthday happiness!

Shady Del Knight said...

Your writing comes straight from the heart, Sush, and it touches mine. It brings tears to my eyes to see pictures of a family built on a solid foundation of love. It is reflected on the faces of your children. These are fine young individuals and the love that you invested in them for all those years is paying dividends. You could teach a clinic on good parenting. The world needs more like you and more like them.

This is a lovely acknowledgement of your daughter. Elise Mignon is a beautiful name for a beautiful young woman. It's a power name that will serve her well. As I told you a few weeks ago today would have been my father's 98th birthday. I will write the words happy birthday, dad, along with my wish that your wonderful daughter has a very happy birthday as well.

Thisisme. said...

Aaaw, look at that little Beignet - So cute!! Hee Hee! Happy birthday to your gorgeous daughter, Elise Mignon. What pretty names. Obviously, you love your four sons to bits, but it must have been just that little bit special when a baby girl arrived on the scene! Hee Hee! You can't beat having daughters. They're such good company. Lovely photos of all your children today, and look at those four handsome sons of yours. Lovely birthday tribute to your dear daughter today my friend. Hugs.

Life 101 said...

Wow, neat post. Love the photos. Happy Birthday to Elsie.
Have fun at the party.
Jilda and I are in North Carolina for the weekend. She's in a yoga training, I'm catching up on my writing and I'm heading to the Orvis Fly Fishing stor in Raleigh later.

EmptyNester said...

Gosh, this is interesting. Our DD2 turned 24 this year too. And her degree is in Interior Architecture and Design. What a coincidence!

We have four daughters and we never had those mother/daughter wars either. We just had a great time!

I can relate to your daughter being the only girl- I was the only girl with three brothers! And they are my BFFs now!

A very happy birthday to your lovely Elise! And to you- the proud mom!

kneesandpaws said...

Happy Birthday to Elise! What a beauty. With a mom like you, who would want to have a war?

Belle said...

It is lovely to have a daughter! She looks so cute with her brothers. Happy Birthday Elise.

Holly said...

Happy birthday to her. :) Great photos, and adorable dog!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Lovely heartfelt post! I SOO hear you...I have three boys and then my little girl (16 now)...You said it never knew something was missing until you met her!

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh my gosh, I hope Elise had a Happy Birthday! My goodness, Girl, you are "New Orleans" through and through!!! Go Saints--they sure creamed Indiana!!!

Your daughter is beautiful and I just KNEW her name was after the jewelry store and your dog's name is Beignet! WOW!!!

Such a gorgeous family and handsome boys...and precious daughter!!!


Pearl said...

How sweet!

Happy Birthday, Elise!


amy said...

Thank you for giving birth to my best friend! You have raised a daughter who is one of the most genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I am so happy to have her in my life!


yaya said...

What a sweet post! Happy Birthday to Elise! You are a very blessed Mom to have such a beautiful and close family. Enjoy this week!

Desiree said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Elise! You are quite clearly loved to your core and you hold a special key to your Mum's precious heart! What a wonderful tribute this is to the lifetime of memories you both share. I loved seeing each and every one of these family Shady said, you certainly are a handsome bunch! And, you, Elise, are a real beauty! I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Denise J. Hughes said...

What a beautiful tribute you have posted here for mothers and daughters. I love it.

Great family pics too. I love the one with four big boys next to the pool and one small girl. Precious!

Gawgus things... said...

Mignon indeed! What a cutey baby photo of Elise - I love that name!

karen said...

That was beautiful! I love the name Elise - that is my daughter's middle name. We have a lot of Elizabeths in our family, and I wanted to choose the French version of it - so pretty! I too only have 1 daughter, and she is a special one!

Ann said...

That is such an endearing post.

It made me wish I have a daughter too. I only have one son and what you wrote about your relationship with your daughter made me remember my Mom. She passed away years ago but I can still feel her love and our memories will be cherished by me forever.

Pat MacKenzie said...

What a lovely tribute to your daughter. I think the 'mother/daughter wars' are a myth. They never happened with my five daughters and we're all still close. Elise is a lovely young woman.

Desiree said...

I have just high-tailed it across here...see my skidmarks on the driveway?...after reading your comment on Diane's blog...about having another procedure on your back today! I do hope you will not be too uncomfortable afterwards, least, not in any pain, I hope? Please rest up and follow your doctor's orders, so you can recover quickly.