Brown Eyed GirlPosted: August 25, 2011
Dear Brown Eyed Girl,
I laid there on the table with the brights lights shining down from overhead. There was a chill in my veins and the subtle beginnings of tears forming in my eyes. Your father was standing there silently beside me, his hand placed gently on my forehead. He was wearing a look of overwhelming joy with a faint dusting of fear.
Although my body was asleep, my mind was alive. I thought, “Who is this child?”
Only moments later, I could hear you and, by the grace of God, the sounds were strong. Then, the images began racing through me – a newborn baby, young girl, a teenager, a woman.
A daughter we had in you. A daughter with a small, graceful neck and the frailest shoulders.
Your legs were built long and lean, and one bore the small mark of angels just above that tiny little foot. On the end of your featherlike fingers were perfect little nails which I would stare at and wonder, “perhaps those angels thought to give you a manicure for your big day.”
But, it was your eyes. Those brown eyes whose loveliness was matched only by their intensity. When they looked at me, they were like mirrors.
Two eyes that look so much like mine, shining back at me. I had to remind myself that although your windows may be the same shape and size, they lead to an entirely different soul. Your eyes are like me, but you are not me, you simply come through me.
So I thought again, “Who is this child?” and what am I to do for you? How am I to move beyond myself and see you for the girl you are and the woman you will become?
I don’t know the answer, my love. All I know to do is open my brown eyes and walk beside you through this life for as many steps as I am given. I am tasked with the beautifully bittersweet burden of teaching you about the comedies, tragedies and pitfalls of womanhood. I desperately hope I have the strength to truly see you for who you are. Know when I should guide you and when I should turn my back.
This is womanhood, my sweet, and I am standing here right beside you. Can you see me? I am right here, only a few steps ahead, trying to figure it out as I go along.
So, I think again, “Who is this child?”
What do I see that lies behind your graceful brown eyes?
You have a fierce spirit. There is a a tigress that lives inside you, which makes you a thing of unspeakable beauty. I hope that this fierceness will serve you well as the waves of life batter your shores. As we walk along, sometimes you will want to scratch me when I get too close. And sometimes you will huddle beside me and ask me to lick your wounds when it simply hurts too bad.
Who is this child?
You are Siena, named after the hillside Tuscan town, and it will take the rest of my life and the rest of yours to answer that question.
Can you see me? I am right here.
Lyrics used in captions are courtesy of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”