Harmony Janet-Suzanne Vosburg was born on this day 11 years ago, to my only daughter, Alicia. Her birth came after a long and complicated labor, and for the first minutes of her life, Harmony didn't breathe without help. In the delivery room, I vacillated between praying for my daughter in bed, and the unresponsive baby with terminal meconium on the lighted bassinet, surrounded by doctors and nurses.
In the end, Harmony got better, and so did Alicia. It was a time of miracles. That night, I battled sleep as I held her against my chest. Her beautiful rosy face reassured me she was a healthy baby and the worst was behind us.
Today Harmony is one of my favorite people in the whole world. I listen as she sings, watch her as she reads, and often play games in her space-themed room with planets hanging from her bunk bed. This year has sucked for everyone, but I think 2020 has affected children the most.
"I can't see my friends," Harmony says. "Schools are closed."
Both she and her sister, Alannah, are among the scores of children who have taken distance learning as part of their new routine. Homework used to be something they did without friends around, and now it's school. TV School. As an educator, I know the stakes are higher for children than anyone else. Nevertheless, Harmony remains positive. She loves going out with her family, and really appreciates more time at home with her mom.
Every Friday, without fail, I travel to Chico to see Harmony, her sister, Alannah, and their mother, my daughter, Alicia. Lately, we've been bound by for social distancing and travel that the rest of the country has dealt with, COVID19 restrictions in place. The days once spent finding the most exciting destinations, restaurants, books, or science experiments are now very limited. We invent our own fun inside. This year, Harmony has introduced me to Percy Jackson, the Olympians, the art of "Let's Dance" and all its fineries, jigsaw puzzles, and different kinds of music I would have never listened to. This week, I found out she's a Zelda fan--even blowing out her candles with a Zelda sword in hand!
Beyond her beautiful mind, Harmony has a heart of gold. She loves her family, and rarely complains about things. I can't imagine my life without her.
Happy birthday, Harmony! I know you have some idea how much I love you...but I wish you could see my heart! Even that would surprise you!
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