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You know those people who light up the room? Their positive cheery attitude just brings you up no matter what funk you may be in and makes you feel better. Well I have the good fortune of being the father to such a person. From an early age she was all smiles and showed empathy and compassion way beyond her years. As a young woman she is organized, detail oriented, driven and widely adored.

While all of my kids are well behaved it always pleased me to go to Parent Conferences with Phaedra's teachers. They would praise her to no end and ask me how I was lucky enough to have her as a daughter. On more than one occasion I was told that if they had a cloning machine they would clone a whole classrooms of Phaedras. I even had teachers tell me that she was better than their own child (which was somewhat awkward as you can imagine).

Phaedra's name means "Bringer of Light" and as a positive, encouraging and kind soul I don't think we could have done any better. Furthermore the unique and rare quality of her name perfectly matches the one in a million personality she has. Her mother and I took a mythology class together in high school and loved the subject leading us to her name. For a brief period of time we had a "hippy moment" and considered naming her Saffron. I think we made the right choice.

So for the last 15 years despite what the weather outside may have been August 10th has been a sunny day. A day filled with smiles, joy, positivity and laughter. She exemplifies the way the world can be with a positive attitude, hard work and love. And it's not just her family or just her friends or people she knows. She shows kindness to everyone even strangers. If she thinks she can brighten your day (and she absolutely can!) then she will go that extra mile. Her hugs are like a soft warm blanket and her smile is like a ray of sunshine. I'm clearly partial but I love my little angle and wish her the best of days because she has given me so SO many.


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