We were an entwined threesome, her Daddy, sister and I, but our collective hearts dawdled as we cooled our heals for 2 1/2 years. We needed her royal diadem to begin our once upon a time.
Soothsaying ensued. One name was pitched and surveyed. Of Irish origin, Quinn meant “counsel.” I had affection for my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. Dalton agreed.
In the months leading to her worldly appearance, walking laps around Council Circle and eating bowls full of watermelon were preoccupations for her sister and me, neither of which Quinn would take to on earth.
With librarian-like features Quinn arrived on the due date. Stamped: December 3, 1982. She carried inside the self-same volume of elegance which is still a fine read today.
It was a December dream. Amid the rumble-roll of a dark and stormy night, she glided to earth, quietly, painlessly landing with a body cling that makes a mother somebody with whom to be reckoned.
Alert and curious Quinn was slow to speak, but a willing partner to her sister’s interpretation of what she meant to say until separate bodies were noted.
From initial awareness, few words would ever be necessary to get her point across. Even today a pause in consolidating the response is mandatory and gratefully accepted. In play she had a sage-like magnetism for books and the imaginary world of a baby nursery.
Her birth was sandwiched between the holidays, a few days after Thanksgiving as an early Christmas gift for all including both sets of grandparents and a great grandfather who came together for the celebratory lunch. We passed her around and then stared at her perfect baby face. Her sister poked and prodded. Quinn stared back with unflinching blues.
Ultimately leadership was sought from her. First from the sister and me and then by those who soon would surmise that she is a true blue serving up devotion and practical advice as gifts of her spirit.
On a lark, an astrologist told me that Quinn had experienced countless lifetimes in a monastic and spiritual setting. I was advised that with wisdom she would experience this life in delight and surprise. Laughing I was taken with how true it seemed to be.
She has great regard for details of organization which rarely leave her in a preferred state of zen. Still headliners Bradley, Roy, Robert and Margaret are beneficiaries of an ordered and nurtured lifestyle because of it. Piloting them through time at the nest brings all that she dreamed.
Side notes include a love of reading. Not just a book now and then, but the distillation of countless stories about mystical family dramas and crime. Needlepoint art has given her adult life expression and private structure, a way to draw out long chats with like-minded friends, to personalize beauty and mark tasks as complete. Check. Check.
Along with the poetic advantage that was once described – “there is no one more loving than a dog owner,” she loved Jackson, the springer; Sophie, the scottie; Bailey, the beagle and presently Johnny & Jack, the labs, each one guardians of her peaceful nature.
My heart skips a beat for little girls with big smiles and resolute eyes; little girls with straight blonde dutch boys and a baby doll in their arms.
Poet John O’Donohue offered the truest anointing –
Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day
The blueprint of your life
Would begin to glow on earth,
Illuminating all the faces and voices
That would arrive to invite
Your soul to growth.
So thirty-eight years later, I, the mother, deliver gratitude to all ye illuminated faces. The cling turned to an open-armed embrace of the world.
Witness if you please the composed posture that shelters still a tender blueprint. She lights the way just as she did once upon a time during the rumble-roll of a stormy night.