Avrah Grace is the only female child born to my immediate family line so far. My brother has 3 boys. My sister, Avrah's mom, has 4 boys. My sister-in-law also has a boy. Avrah is our princess.
It's her 3rd birthday today. I'll tell you later why you should care.
She was born while I was deployed to Kyrgyzstan. She wasn't the first offspring-of-siblings (there really should be a gender neutral word that encompasses both nephews and nieces) whose birth I missed, but it was especially hard to be so far away that year. My family was going through a very hard time, I was missing my first anniversary and that baby was a bright ray of sunshine on all of us.
The first time I met her was pretty amazing. My mom and husband had conspired to surprise me when I returned from my deployment. My mom brought my brother, my sister and 2-month-old Avrah out to DC and, with the help of some very good friends, they were sitting at a table in the food court at the mall where John and I were shopping. I am not a good surprise person, by the way, so don't try it if you want one of those really good faces/reactions. I usually just stare blankly until I can figure out how I was duped. Anyway, here I am falling in love with her.
It used to be that having a baby girl was not looked on with joy and celebration. I know it's still like that in many parts of the world. This is in no way a feminist manifesto, but I'm still amazed (in the not-good way) that someone could look at a little baby girl and not realize what a wonder she is. If not as a baby, then as a cute toddler or precocious pre-schooler.
Here is the gender God gave His life-bearing power to, a precious vessel to be cherished and protected. Here humans depart from the animal kingdom (where males are typically the more beautiful) with a dominant feminine beauty. And here is a mystery and allure that nations have gone to war over and new religions were formed around.
I'm grateful to be a girl in America today. I'm grateful my niece can grow up to be anything she wants to be. And I'm extra grateful God saw fit to bless our family with her sweet face.
Happy Birthday Avrah!