Write Again …It was a time to rejoice

Published 3:10 pm Thursday, September 14, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Our younger daughter, Mary Bart, marks a significant milestone the last day of this month. Her fiftieth birthday.

So . .. please let me share with you the column I wrote acknowledging and celebrating that very special occasion, half a century ago.

Welcome, little Mary, to your house. We loved you before you came, and now we love you even more. Our house has been blessed in that uniquely special way once again.

It is, truly, a time of joy. A miracle, plain and sure. A time for forward-looking thoughts. A time for thanksgiving.

Your mother and I – and your ‘big’ sister Sarah – bid you welcome. You see, Sarah asked God to give Momma a ‘seed’; that’s her way of understanding the miracle of creation. And she asked God that it be a girl, for she wanted a baby sister. Perhaps He heard a five year-old’s prayers. I like to think He did.

Oh, there’s one thing I want you to know right from the start. Your Poppa couldn’t have been happier that you are a little girl. He couldn’t love you more.

Some people, you see, say very unthinking things to fathers when little girls are born. Perhaps they mean no harm in what they say. But, somehow, some people seem to think a father wants only a son.

Maybe this is true for some fathers. But not with your Poppa. And I shall try to show you – as I have tried to show your sister Sarah – that nothing finds greater favor with me than a little girl.

Some say that fathers bask in the reflected glory of their sons, but that in the twilight years, when the ravages of old age and the insensitivity of a youth-possessed society seem to shunt parents aside, it’s the daughters who return in kind the love they knew as children. Perhaps so.

But there’s one thing of which I am sure, and that’s how much your coming means to us. I guess one has to become a parent to understand this love.

But now you’re here, and we rejoice in this blessed event. And Momma, Sarah, and I say, Welcome, little Mary Bartow Houston … to your house. APROPOS – “Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness.”

– Henri Amiel