Ada Joellyn. Isn't she perfection? She is the third of my niece/nephew trio. Currently the smallest and quietest. Also, she has the BEST older brother an Ada Jo could ask for. This cool cat:
He made his first appearance on this very blog just two years ago. Crazy. Anyway, Ada is an absolute gem, and we're all in love with her. I'm so proud of my brother and sister-in-law for being such great parents and for making such cute kids. When Silas was born someone told me that becoming an aunt changed her in some way, that it was one of the coolest things life had handed her. I absolutely get that now. It's a remarkable thing, perhaps especially so for someone who doesn't have any children. These guys bring such joy and life and laughter to our family. I can't wait to see the life and light of Miss Ada Jo, to watch her personality unfold, to witness a girl grow into who she was created to be. We'll teach her to sing Jesus Remember Me and the Wheels on the Bus and probably Boom Boom Pow. We'll teach her to blow kisses and give high fives. We'll probably read her The Runaway Bunny and Quick as a Cricket. We'll watch and listen as she grows into her own, honoring her unique spirit. What a privilege.
I had a last-minute opportunity to see the play Wit on stage at the Raven Theatre in Edgewater this weekend. We sat in an intimate theatre of no more than 50, watching the story of a renowned professor of John Donne's poetry with terminal ovarian cancer – it stood in such contrast to the beautiful newness of life in Ada. Wit remains one of the most unforgettable films I've seen. My favorite scene is when her college professor visits the dying Vivian in hospital and reads her The Runaway Bunny – she calls it "an allegory of the soul." It's heartbreaking, and beautiful.
This is the stuff of real life. Celebrating the birth of Ada and hearing stories of Rwandan genocide survivors from my dad's recent travels, it puts things in perspective. It reminds me to hold everything lightly. Because this girl – well, she's just great. But the Rwandan genocide is a very real thing and the violence in my neighborhood is a very real thing. I believe we are meant to know both realities. I think we must remember, celebrate, and reach beyond our grasp to the heavens above. We have a Creator who revels with us and mourns with us –
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don't be afraid.