December 31, 2005 10:56 AM
Maddy's picture surprise
If you've followed much of what I've had to say here about Maddy, you will know that she is my Number Nine, my youngest birth child, incurable optimist, lover of Doris Day, Narnia, and lions. She is also very much the center of universe, but in an upbeat manner that allows her to laugh at herself and enjoy her own foibles. The name of her blog is telling: What About Me? It's her signature phrase and philosophy of life and frequently heard around our home whenever mom or dad notice something special about a sibling.
This morning, Maddy had rummaged through my Picasa albums and published the photo above as my desktop. What a nice surprise! I took that shot in June 2004 (coincidentally, I'm in the middle of blogging about something else from that summer - will post later) at Union Station in Washington DC. Maddy loves lions and has a roomful she's collected and which people have given her. We couldn't resist this incredibly Aslan-like one. Jonny is bringing up the rear - hard to believe that this was less than two years ago as he must have entered puberty five minutes later.
The flag is at half mast because we were still in mourning for the death of Ronald Reagan - whose time in office was a thorn in the side of this once-radical liberal, but whom I came to appreciate later as a profoundly good leader.
Maddy has a lot of leadership about her. Even as a tiny tot, she would lead our huge family through the zoo, resisting her older sibs with cries of "I the leader!" Most of the time I'm very grateful for her take-charge approach. On the first good snow day this year, while everyone else was still abed, she got up all the little guys, dressed them out for the cold - I mean, we're talking layers of pants, snowpants, shirts, sweatshirts, socks, boots, gloves, hats - and got them all out on the hill sledding before I'd even had my first cup of coffee.
God surely knew what he was doing when he sent her to me - only 54 weeks after Jonny's birth. Maddy recently discovered the term Irish twins and is very proud to use it. A strange mixture of self-centeredness and selflessness, no matter where she finds herself, I know she will always live life to the fullest.
And I can expect my own life to be full of pleasant surprises too. Thanks for the picture, Maddy!
Have you ever taken any photos with Chicago's Art Institute lions??? Just down the street from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra -- my total fav.
Maybe we can visit there one day???
THANK YOU -- you entire, wonderful, grace-filled, imperfect, delightful family!
We appreciate you! -- tkb
Posted by: Tara Barthel | December 31, 2005 4:41 PM
Awww, what a delightful tribute to your daughter. I hope God blesses me with a daughter with that much character and initiative some day (He may have already, I just have to wait a few years to find out).
I'll come with you to the Art Institute, Tara, I love those lions too especially at Christmas time. And gallery tickets to a concert across the street...
Posted by: Cheri | January 2, 2006 6:02 AM