Dear Abby June,
You have completed 2 laps around the sun!
Gas is $3.09 a gallon, bread is a dollar-fifty. Mom is 36 nearly 37, Dad is 35, Ry is 7, Gideon James is a robust three and a half, and Abe (the best dog ever) is nearly 10 . You are 31 inches tall (6 inches shorter than Gus at this age), and you weigh 24 pounds. You are the tiniest, most self-assured girl I know.
We call you the Little General because you wear a poker face like it’s your job, and you march rather than walk, your arms swinging deliberately beside you. You have always, even since crawling, found your way into the cattle pen to stand among the young steers and hold court. Countless times, I have found you alone, leaning on the gate talking to giants in your raspy little voice, no different than if they were kittens. You go your own way.
You speak better than anyone in our house. When you caught me absentmindedly trying to scoop spaghetti noodles onto my spoon one night, you looked at me with a gentle smile and said, “Look, Mom! A circle!” and proceeded to demonstrate how one twirls the fork for perfect noodle containment. You can count to five-teen, you love the colors pink and blue, and you demand your ‘(s)parkly’ shoes each day. You are subtly brilliant.
You’re our little blondie. We are not exactly sure where you came from. When I was pregnant with you I remember wondering what happens with the third kid? We had a girl. We had a boy. How different, how unique, really, could one more of one or the other be? And then we had you. You screamed not out of hunger or boredom or fear but pure rage. You walked at 19 months because you simply wanted to wait. It has only been a few short months since you decided to look your father in the eye. It’s been less time since you’ve been sleeping through the night.
You are, in a word, tough.
But, child. You are the cuddler. You are the one who stands at my feet and begs quietly, “Carry you.” You are the silent observer through countless therapy trips, drop offs, grocery lines, and doctor’s visits. Your strength of character is balanced sweetly by your simplicity of youth. When you want help, you ask. When you are hurt, you seek comfort. When you are happy, you make the room light up. You carry such an incredible OLD spirit with you, as more than one person has observed.
You arrived and it was as if you had already been. Only louder.
There are only a select few who have seen your million-watt smile in person. Its something you save, something we earn. You prefer “pan-pakes” over any food, though noodles and then cereal follow close behind. You love to show me – “Mom! Watch ‘dis!” is a regular refrain. I watch, every time, because you are so incredibly sure that what you are about to show me will change my life.
I think you’re on to something.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all have your confidence to be. To feel like everything we’re about to do is going to change someone’s life for the better. To guard our hearts. To be confident enough to just go along for the ride and not be in the front seat. To hold a secret deep within… for not every thing is meant to be known by every one. To play well with others, but to fight for your own space. So much truth in such a little body.
You are my littlest, and I beg you to go slow. It is such a joy to be with you, to be around you. I cannot wait to get to know you better.