Do you remember where you were 17 years ago? I do — I was a brand-new first time Dad, basking in the blessing of answered prayer in Ohio. We prayed for her and here she was, in the wee hours of a hazy Toledo morning. The sun was persistent that day. Lexi’s Apgar score was in the books and she was off to the races. A little thing, as most babies are in my hands, she had a persona I’ll never forget: even in her sweet post-birth nap after her grueling and sudden journey into the world, she gave off the vibe of “listen, here I am, and we’re just getting started, folks.”
If you know Lexi, you are familiar with her particular modus operandi. She rolls on her own pace, by her own desire, and with a confidence that is as solid as it is precious. In some ways, she’s a baby, but in our shared context, she’s a teenager who knows exactly what she wants, when it’ll happen, and who it will involve. You will sing Wheels on the Bus. You will clap your hands. NOW. You will give me a bite of that sandwich. I’ll be in the living room, beating out another Lexi Piano Sonata, arranged for two mashing hands.
I’m going to let my son Zac pop in for a second and give you his reflections, as he’s been with me both during this blog post and, well, for all of his life. Take it away, Zac!
FROM THE MIND OF ZAC DAVIDSON… I’m not great at writing things, so if this seems a little rough, I apologize. Although Lexi is technically older than me, I like to think of her as my little sister, considering the fact that she has severe Autism and Down syndrome, and is like 4 feet tall. To be honest, I shouldn’t really have favorites, but Lexi is probably my favorite in my direct family. (Besides Reggie, our cat, but that’s a whole different can o’worms)
Almost every night that Meggan, (Lexi’s respite care worker) is here with Lexi, I’ll usually help her get Lexi in bed. Although Dad is very good with Lexi, I like to think that Meggan is even better. I’ll just sit there and see Meggan work her magic with Lexi like it’s easy.
Lexi understands all of us mere mortals way better than she lets on. She’s like a cat in that way. She understands us, she just doesn’t care enough to show us. My little sister understands us better than we do her. She’s a flippin’ genius. She has learned quite a bit of sign language to talk to us without her words. She will sometimes put all of her finger tips together, which signals “More”. She will sometimes do that disco thing where you spin your arms around each other which means “Wheels on the bus”.
The Wheels on the bus is Lexi’s favorite song. She quite likes nursery rhymes. We sometimes put baby show on the TV. She watches those things for HOURS. It can get annoying, but it makes her happy.
My point is, it can be rough with Lexi, but we love her a bunch! Happy Birthday ‘lil sis!
Now back to my Dad…
Thanks, Zac. It’s been so much fun watching Mac and Zac grow up with Lexi. She has taught her brothers all kinds of handy life skills like patience, respecting people who are different than them, and not to ever sass their big/little sister. Lexi has no tolerance for brother nonsense, and they know it.
Per the annual custom, Lexi woke up with a bed full of balloons. We’ve done this for years, but I’ve never seen her this happy about it. I’m so proud of my little girl. She’s taught me about God’s love that no book or sermon ever could.
Happy birthday, Bear! I love you and I’m so proud of you. -Dad