7.26.2005

Happy 5th, Ava


I know you're not old enough to read this, my dear Ava, but some day you will. And I hope that I don't embarrass you too much when I say that I am the proudest father on the face of this earth. I've been constantly at awe by everything that you do. You amaze me daily. You've persuaded me to look at this wonderful world around me with new eyes, and made me realize that I don't have to over-analyze every little thing I work on; I should just enjoy it. Your wisdom rocks me to the core sometimes, Ava. "It's just a dot," is not just a cute, little thing you said to me about one of your drawings one day, but something that I keep close to my heart always, as I later on discovered that there were many layers to that simple, yet beautiful statement. Some things are not meant for reason, they are meant just to be. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy.

With your Ava-speak, I've learned to admire the love of nonsensical words, which, when spoken by you, actually mean something, somehow. I truly do not know how you do it. Your silly songs brighten the darkest of days in our house, and I'm kicking myself for not getting them on tape soon enough. Not only would they be ideal for me to listen to while at work, they'd be perfect for bribing you into embarrassment when you bring home your first boyfriend. (I don't even want to think about the concept of 'dating' yet, anyway.)

Five years. Five whole years? Where has the time gone? Not to dive into clich├ęs here, but I do remember the time when I first held you and brought you over to your mommy so she could take a look at you. You did quite a number on her, making her go through hours of labor, as you wouldn't budge. The c-section was not what we had planned, but you know, Ava, you've never done anything as planned. You've always set your own pace, which definitely makes you my daughter. When it may look like to others that you are slow or distracted, I know that what you are really doing is being engaged with your surroundings, taking it all in. You are such the observant little child, noticing the smallest of details in a room, on a doll, in a drawing, or a movie. I know that you mustn't be rushed, that you will get there soon enough. Patience is, indeed, a virtue.

You are such a bright girl, Ava, and you make me laugh and cry at the same time. You are brilliant and you will shine forever, little star. I love you, Ava. Happy Birthday.

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To see some of our favorite photos of Ava, taken during her fifth year, click here.

18 comments:

  1. *Applause!* Great, beautiful speech, Ward. It seems to me that Ward-o-matic is completely dedicated to your beloved daughter Ava, which is very nice and unlike any other blogs that mostly spread out political nonsense. I do hope that someday, people around the world will be inspired more by the power of family and love than something that dominates the wave in this post 9/11 era.

    - Glen!

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  2. Applause is right! Beautiful post! Happy Birthday to Ava!

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  3. You are blessed, little one, to have a daddy who loves you so! Big birthday bright candle wishes @-->-

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  4. Ward, congrats for your beautiful daughter's b-day! My daughter turns 5 this year as well. Always happy to read your posts about your family.

    ~jason

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  5. you are really very talented and a nice person !

    your little sweetheart is also very beautiful. god bless her and your family.

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  6. this photo of the two of you melts my heart. I knew it would be a great one even as I was taking it. I feel so lucky to have you as the father of my daughter... the only other person in this world that I can trust to give her as much love as I do.

    thank you for these words.

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  7. THAT photograph is amazing...I almost want to write(well, I am writing it, aren't I?)that it looks like one of those artfully done celebrity photo spreads from In Style, etc.--but that's hardly doing it justice. Aw, you know what I mean--just too wonderful.

    It's just a treat to read a blog by an artist who's also a plain ol' fellow human being capable of eloquently expressing a wide range of thoughts.

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  8. That is the most darling photo EVER. Really makes me wanna be a dad someday.

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  9. Thank you all, for the wonderful comments. Ava is a very special daughter, and I wanted to say something about her that was straight from the heart, but not too sappy. And I just LOVE this photo that Andrea took. Great eye, my dear. You done good. (As you always do.)

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  10. youre such a sweet dad. hope she had a wonderful birthday! love the photograph, perfect for the occasion and the post.

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  11. That's a great picture!

    We Love Ava!!

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  12. Wanted to add: Every Thursday, getting another delight from your daughter via dad's blog, I've wondered what it'll mean to her in 30-40 years from now(when she hits my age bracket): how she'll have saved these entries(along with all your others, of course), what a legacy you're making just by doing it, week after week. It's priceless. All of us female artists(god--sounds so clinical!)started out as little girls like Ava and I'm sure recognize ourselves in her growing facility and the flights of her unfettered imagination...but few of us had parents as cool as you two, I'm afraid. Have you ever read about the Wyeth family--when N.C. Wyeth's children were small, and three out of the five were inclined towards art(one was an engineer, one a musician and composer)? It's always made me certain that the early support and guidance of the parents is more potent than anything else in the world, determining an interesting life. Your family has quite a good start!

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  13. I just came over from andrea's site today and you posted my favorite photo of the set.

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  14. Jenny:
    I hope Ward doesn't mind my answering your entry. Andrea's parents are the reason that Andrea has that creative spark that she is passing on down to my grandkids. (Oh, and Ward helps a little, too:) I believe her parents allowed all three of their kids to express themselves freely in what they loved doing - Andrea in her art, dance, crafts; Nate in his music; and Von in his art.

    There is such a freedom to express yourself in Andrea and Ward's home. THAT's the key. Time + freedom + love = super creative kids. But seriously, Ward does allow so much room for Ava (and eventually Ezra) to create - he's very patient with her and I don't think she feels any restriction when it comes to her art. I'm so proud of him and Andrea AND my daughter with her writing abilities. It's so much fun to see people express themselves creatively.

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  15. Thanks for those reflections, 'Wardsmama'! It seems to me the entire family--including all the respective parents--have quite a special thing going on there. : )

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  16. I have to say that my parents were very beneficial in my artistic upbringing and that they were very supportive with whatever strange bent I'd go off on. I was very lucky to have such parents. Thanks guys.

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  17. Oh my - she is beautiful! You are a great dad. The two of you are a lucky pair.

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  18. this is the most beautiful thing ever.

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