My dear Estelle,
You are two months and two weeks old. You are sleeping away upstairs, probably with your thumb in your mouth, completely oblivious to the hoops and hurdles you had us jumping through, over and under to get you to dreamland.
You, my beloved little lady, are not to be underestimated. With each dimple popping smile you are wrapping me ever so surely around your little finger. I would be a bit more indignant by this and really ought to fight back somewhat, except your daddy is in the same boat and we can’t get enough of your magic. Keep wooing us, Estelle, with your twinkling eyes and outrageous grins. Keep us giggling with your post-sleep cooing talks, frenzied arms movements and dramatic expressions — you tell the best stories.
When you wake up (ever slowly and groggily) there’s this moment when your eyes uncloud and your mouth eases into a slow, wide smile that transforms your face so completely from disgruntled gnome to mischievous elf. Oh, I do love that. I love when your eyes focus on me and you give me a look that promises quite the story. I can listen about your dreams all the live long day. And I hope you don’t quit telling me about your dreams. You, who embodies bravery and beauty, will surely dream big. I want to hear all about them. Don’t stop sharing with me, okay? I promise to listen to all the small, big and in between dreams because they will matter to you. And you matter greatly to me.
You were named Estelle (1) because we wanted an “older” name and naturally turned to the Golden Girls for inspiration, (2) we wanted your first name to match your middle name of Daokeo/ดาวเเก้ว and (3) after having a bruiser of a firstborn, we thought it would be lovely to have a delicate, calm child. Estelle, two out of those three things worked out. Can you guess which one didn’t go according to plan? Oh, my love, you may be seemingly delicate at first glimpse, but, man, are you a fighter. And why shouldn’t you be — why shouldn’t you have a loudness and fierceness to your voice that defies your little body? Why shouldn’t you fight for what demands attention? It may wear us out now, but it will also make us grin with pride one day.
You will find that your mother is a person who reads into things and in between things. This is a blessing and a curse. You will surely roll your eyes at her more than 100x when she tries to dig deeper behind what you’re saying or meaning. But this “condition” of your mother also has (and will have) her praying over you, according to the meaning of your name. Our little star, our little Estelle: strong and illuminating, delicate yet courage-giving. In your brightness, may you be a beacon of hope to those looking up and out of dark days. In your bravery, may you be a refuge of tender wisdom to the weary of heart. In your beauty, may you be a harbinger of goodness and mercy and joy.
You are another reminder to your daddy and me of how sweet grace is and how amazing second chances are. God is good, Estelle. I pray I can share with you the experiences of our family that point to the beauty of Abba in our lives. I pray that we can all dream big together. I love you, my strong and delightful and sweet girl.