Sunday, November 13, 2011
Undset describes the moment Olav first sees Cecilia:
And again it was as though he had fallen among incredible things—a girl’s face, impossibly small, but perfect, the fairest! A new-born life, and it could look like that. Her eyes were open; dark they were and bottomless—and she was red and white like a brier-rose and had nose and mouth like a human being, but so small that he could not understand it . . .
Olav takes the child in his arms and cannot put her down:
Olav still held his little daughter in his hands—a gift, a gift she was. It softened him—so grateful beyond measure he had never been before. He laid his face against the baby’s breast—her face was so pure and fine that he durst not touch it.
My own firstborn has the mixed fate of being so like her father that she and I have been known to lock horns once in a while. We are Bulls, don’t forget. But we have already written one book together. And now that she has moved on from writing to acting, I follow her career with deep respect and with an affection that surprises me sometimes with its sharpness.
She will always be my firstborn—and so grateful beyond measure I have never been before.