Welcoming My Daughter to the World

My daughter, Aila Jean Chisholm, was born on May 14 this year, in a little cabin in South Lake Tahoe. A six and a half pound mix of my wife Emily and me. She was born into water. When she emerged, unbreathing, the world stood still for the longest moment of my life. Then the screaming began, and at 49 years old I became a first time father.

The most ordinary thing in all the world, this thing called birth. And yet...to each of us who has gone through it, the furthest thing from normal on this earth.

Aila is almost three months old now, and has just recently learned to smile widely and to coo as if she actually knows us. She is a baby trying to grow into a child, yet I too feel as if I'm growing from a child into a man. We've all heard the cliche that parenthood is the most humbling of ventures, and I can't say that I disagree.

I think a lot these days about what I want for her. Mainly it's what I want for myself and for those I love. It's also what I hope my clients find in life. When it comes down to it, a well lived life isn't so complicated.

I hope Aila is healthy. I hope she feels loved. I hope she feels compassion and shares her kindness. I hope she loves animals and little creatures. I hope she learns the beauty of mountain water. I hope she isn't afraid to dance, like I am. I hope she understands the freedom of her own mind. I hope she realizes that happiness is temporary, but that life is beautiful nonetheless.

My daughter, may you know freedom in your heart and in your mind.

Maren Rush