Thursday, April 26, 2007

Reflections on New Beginnings

My sister turns 40 today. She's beginning a new decade. She told me she took some time off this morning to honor the transition. Pretty cool when you think about it - to take the time to pause and reflect - to look backward and forward before moving head on into the present.

Our oldest daughter, Kenaia, is 11 years old - named after Kenai, Alaska. The day she was born it was unusually stormy and windy. Her birth was very difficult and she came out with reddish hair and freckles. It all fits her personality. She's a determined little bugger - stubborn to the end, and likes to have things her way. She was an early talker, an early reader, and her current literacy skills blow us away. She could honestly be a published author right now. Books and writing are her passions, and she loves all things of the natural world, especially the wind, which she claims is her 'element'. Not only can she read into books, but she can read into people - she's very introspective. Her ability to comprehend people and situations is amazing. It makes me emotional to think about how she's grown into a little young lady. She's not only my daughter, but my friend and advisor at times, and a very independent creature. She's very true to herself and loves to explore. She's adamant about the fact that her true calling is to be a Dragonologist - to travel the world searaching for dragons.

Sydney is nine. When Sydney, Australia was named the site of the 2000 Olympics, we decided it would be a perfect name for a child. Sydney was born so fast that the nurse had to grab some doctor in the delivery room next door because our doctor didn't make it in time. And true to her name and her birth, Sydney is extremely athletic, fascinated by all sports, and does not like to wait for anything. In fact, not just sports, Syd is fascinated by everything. With her allowance, she bought herself a subscription to National Geographic Kids Magazine. She loves the Guinness Book of World Records. She loves Garfield and the Sunday comics and has a terrific sense of humor. She often hides around the house and tries to pop out and surprise me. She's a sponge for all sorts of information and can relay any information you request at any moment - how many people were on the Titanic, what caused the Great Chicago Fire, etc. What she really loves is animals. She has a very tender, compassionate side and gets emotional when it comes to any type of creature. She tells us that she wants to have a big house someday so she can have lots of dogs, and she wants to travel around studying animals all over the world. And play basketball for the WNBA.

Meissa is 6 years old. She was named after a place, just like her sisters - only farther away. Meissa is a double star serving as one of the head stars in the Orion Constellation. In Arabic, it means 'the shining one.' This child was also born under the constellation Leo the Lion, and in the chinese zodiac Year of the Dragon. You can only imagine the little fireball that she is. She's a true wild one - fueled by race cars, extreme sports, all things pink, fashion, hairstyles, and shoes. Several years ago she could tell you several different models of cars as they drove by on the street - yet she might also be able to tell you about the latest shoe designers. She has recently learned to read and is fascinated not only by books, but by the world of print that exists before her eyes in every moment of her day. She's a busy kid - constantly jump-roping in the house. Currently she has no aspirations for the future. She lives completely in the moment and enjoys every second of her day - inspiring others to join her. Whatever she chooses to do with herself, she doesn't let anyone or anything stand in her way, and she gives it one hundred percent.

That's a glimpse into my reflections today - inspired by my sister. And then a moment to honor the transitions before I move into the future - the unknown - the exciting, the scary, the thrilling.

I mentioned in my marathon posts that I wasn't sure what I'd learned yet. It took a while to gather and understand. But what I understand today, is that the body is an amazing thing. All things in life occur for a reason, and all things in life have their own timing - be it marathons or be it children. Well, what about both? I think it's sorta humorous that I can claim I finished the Boston Marathon ~ injured, without much training, and pregnant? Yep. Our littlest one has got to be the youngest Boston finisher in history. It's still very early - the baby won't be born until late December, but the speed of growth is rapid. Although currently smaller than an apple seed, it's heart is forming, blood is circulating, and it's liver has begun to function.

Today, we're celebrating new life as we head into the future. I'll have to reschedule the fall marathon, yet hold that Boston Marathon in my mind, understanding that the human body really can accomplish amazing things.


Joe said...

I hate to be so obtuse but I'm not sure I'm interpreting your post correctly: are you pregnant? If so, congrats!

Boy, you sure put a lot of effort into naming your kids. When we named my son, we chose that first name that we both agreed didn't suck.

JustRun said...

Wow, congratulations. That makes THREE people I know that got pregnant in late March/ early April and finished a race before they found out (or maybe you knew before). Wow, such a truly amazing moment. I love the way you two named your children- that's really incredible. And wow, I just can't stop saying wow.

Congratulations, again. :)

Angie said...



iliketoast said...


What a brilliant piece of writing, thanks for sharing your family with us.

Can't wait for the next name.

Just12Finish said...

Yow! That little titbit just came out of nowhere! Congratulations! Sounds like a wonderful bunch of kids and one more to come. PS - my little one is named Sydney too - to match the other S's in the family.

Anne said...

That is wonderful news!! And I loved hearing the origins of your daughters' names and how they ended up fitting their eventual personalities. Do me a favor, though, and don't name this one Newton. We don't want his/her life to be nothing but an uphill climb :-)

Kurt said...

GB, great post as usual. You do such great things yourself. No wonder your children will be awesome adults.

I have 4 children and 1 grandchild. I am always amazed by what they accomplished.

Josh said...

Your children sound so interesting! No doubt a reflection of their parents!

Danielle said... way to come up with names for kids...and nothing like being pregnant for Boston! Good thing you did it this year, it might have been too much work to train after giving birth in December!! Congrats.