Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To London, on your birthday.

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
— Samuel Johnson

I fell in love with a city years before your birth. A place I had read about in my awkward adolescence, chomping on a plate of nachos while hiding out on the lower half of my bunk-bed on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I escaped to this city frequently, riveted by stories. She seemed to hold them all: wonder, mystery, adventure, suspense, love. And I became captive to her history, her legend. 

During my second year of college, the dream opportunity of a lifetime arose when I was accepted into the BYU London program, and I found myself lucky enough to have parents willing to support my adventure. I could finally seek out and explore the corners of what had previously remained a fantasy tucked away in the chamber of my romantic ideals. I worried, would it live up to what I expected?

I was not disappointed.

I spent months there, wandering and reading. Thrill seeking. Only not so much in a "sky-diving" thrill seeking sense. More like "reading a chapter from a Jane Austen novel while sitting IN JANE AUSTEN'S HOUSE" sort of thrills!!! Un.FREAKIN'.believable. Should you be so crazy. My goodness. The college years really can get entirely out of hand. Lock up your daughters.

 I cried too (a little. Westminster just gets me every time!).

At the end of my travels I left still feeling like I'd not even remotely peeled back the layers of potential, of wonder. I literally ached at our parting. I ache sometimes still. I know that my love affair borders on bizarre. I've even googled the theory of past lives to see if there is some hypnosis I should undergo to figure out why this place means so much to me. Did I live there as some chamber maiden five hundred years ago? Like what is this all about?!! It's weird. But it's kinda sorta the type of weird you don't ever want to give up too.

It was your Auntie Sarah who first suggested that the name London was a beautiful one. 

I, frankly, had no idea what a serendipitous moment it was the day we gave you that name.

 I can see how some could imagine that you might worry about your namesake. After hearing about all of the romanticism and dreaminess of this city that serves as one of the global center-points of human history, you might feel inadequate or small. 

So, let's just clear this up right now. Cuz I gotta tell you kid, no bias here speaking.

That city better be careful.
 Because that city? 
She better live up to you
Not the other way around.

I mean, just look at you:

 What is this pose? For pity's sake, how hilarious and adorable can you be child?
I did not assign you to that pose. You just flipped around and bam! Like nothin'. 

London Haack, it is undeniable.

Enchantment is your specialty.

{{I wish I could claim credit for it, but I can't. I can be so abrasive and awkward and loud!? And suddenly!, out pops this child who can so utterly and effortlessly capture the heart of anyone within a 10 foot radius. And really, how she does it is so remarkable given that she is ultimately very reserved and shy and imaginative and deeply introspective. You won't even know she's doing it until you're a dead goner for the kid. If she asks you for a scoop of her legendary ice cream (still pronounced as asscweam), just run. Cuz once you see how cute she is asking for that bowl of ice-cream you'll wanna keep her for good. But then, you'd have to reckon with her father and mother, and that's just not going to end well for you.}}

You are loving, compassionate, emotional, fiery, maternal, feminine. Have the cutest giggle. A total dreamer and a cuddler and a twinkle-in-the-eyer.

So, hey London (the city), 

cuz here comes LON.DON. 

Know whad-im-sayin?

You two were a match made in heaven. You Londons. Someday, I will take you there. To meet and walk the city that will always have yet to live up to your kind of potential. I know this all sounds a bit haughty and grandiose and who do you think you are? but who cares! That city has always welcomed the grandiose anyways.

Then someday, when you are grown I can't wait for you to frequently remind your future husband of my favorite quote. I imagine you'll do it with a flip of your hair and a side snap of the hip when you remind him, 

"Baby, if a man has tired of London, he has tired of LIFE."

Now that is just a quote every woman deserves to have in her arsenal. But you, my dear? It's ALL YOURS. 
You're welcome. 
{thank Auntie Sarah too, she loves getting credit for this kind of stuff ;)}

But one thing is for certain, no matter what travels or life journey the future may hold....

I will never tire of you.

You are the darling of my heart, forever. Happy sixth birthday. 

I lovvvvvvvvve you my London.



1 comment:

Joan said...

What a treat! I thought of you and your little beauties, decided to open your blog and BAM! A London birthday post before my very eyes!
These photos capture the sass and the sweet of London so well.
Happy Birthday, Little Miss!
Oh, and I second all that your Mother said. She isn't biased one bit!