22 July 2008

Happy Birthday Oodah

Dear Charis--

Happy belated birthday, Baby Girl! It does not seem possible that you are already four--it feels like it was just days ago that I was cradling you and marveling at your tiny fingers and toes. Now, you have huge, Big Kid fingers and toes, and you use them to do Big Kid things like draw pictures of people you love and pick black raspberries and put Ruby's paci in her mouth (just your fingers--your toes aren't that dexterous.). Moments ago, it seems, I was thrilled that you had said what vaguely sounded like "kitty," and now, here you are, four years later, and I think you know all of the words in the whole world. And you have the ingenuity to make up your own (definitions unknown) words, like chompley and wompley.

I love you for so much--for your independence, how you fearlessly adapt to every situation; for your spunk, how you really do light up a room when you enter it; for your helpfulness, how you are quick to comply every time I ask you for a favor; and for your kind heart, how you treat everyone as a friend, even those total strangers in the grocery store that you are constantly inviting to come to our house. You are so very silly, but when the rubber hits the road, you are also able to be sincere, too: two nights ago you woke up with a nightmare about a bird that was in our house, and we prayed that God would give you sweet dreams, and this morning, you told me that you had asked God for happy dreams last night and He had answered you! I love that you're old enough to be able to talk to God on your own.

I am so proud of who you are growing up to be, even if I am mystified by how you came to be that way. For instance, how is it that two confirmed non-morning people could produce a child that is so perpetually sunny as soon as she wakes? How could we, who enjoy team sports like basketball and volleyball, be raising a little girl whose only desire is to be a ballerina? Your dad can't understand how you can eat a tomato or a pepper and enjoy it, and I am equally stumped by your attraction to olives. How is it that you came to be so fascinated by dresses, and so repelled by clothes like jeans? We may not always understand your choices, but we're proud that you're capable and mature enough to make them.

I love that you will proudly claim the name "Oodah"--I have no idea why Judah calls you that, but it is kind of you to allow it, and even more wonderful that you seem to enjoy it. I love that you are (mostly) sweet to your brother and sister. I love that my only complaint about your treatment of Ruby is that you sometimes show her just a little too much love. I love that you love others, and talk about them often, usually asking if we can go visit them RIGHT NOW. You are a kind girl. I love that.

I am so pleased to be your mother. So pleased that you are so intelligent. Pleased that you are kind, helpful, fun, and sweet. I look forward to many more years of watching you grow! Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. I love you!

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